Thursday, May 23, 2013

327 and 331 North Wyoming

327 (left) and 331 North Wyoming
By Richard I. Gibson

Built: pre-1884

These two houses both predate 1884, making them among the oldest survivors in Butte. A third house, a plastered 2-story home built before 1888, once occupied the lot to the south at 323.

An early resident of 327 was John A. Montgomery, a tailor who had come to Butte from England, and his wife Ella (from Wisconsin), their daughter, and a lodger who was also a tailor. It is a wood frame house.

331 N. Wyoming was originally owned by Marcus Daly, who sold it in February 1891 to Mrs. Mary (Margaret) Weed, widow of Fitzgerald Weed, for $2,500. Mrs. Weed was still living there in 1900. In 1910, miner John Kennedy from Ireland lived here with his wife, daughter, cousin, and two more lodgers. The house is brick veneer over wood frame, with later stucco and siding added. It originally had a double bay front, but after 1916 the bays were removed and the porch added.

These two houses have seen a lot of Butte history. North across Copper Street from 331 was the Washoe Mine in 1884, closed by 1888 but still there for several years thereafter. The corner of Copper and Wyoming is near the foot of the Anaconda Road, where thousands of men poured down from the Hill at every shift change. A saloon stood directly across Wyoming from 331, on the southeast corner of Copper and Wyoming. In 1884, an early Miner’s Union Hall was a half-block south of these houses at the corner of Wyoming and Quartz, and across the street and slightly down Wyoming Street, the Butte Brewery, Finlander Hall, and Mrs. Byrnes’ Boarding House stood—the latter the site of Frank Little’s abduction in 1917.

Sources: Architectural inventories, Sanborn maps, city directories. Photo by Richard I. Gibson.

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