Miners north of Missoula Gulch struck silver in 1872, and three years later Rollo Butcher located the Alice, one of the richest silver mines on the Hill. Butcher is credited with building the first permanent residence in Walkerville, and the Butchertown neighborhood bears his name. Word of Butcher’s rich claim soon filtered back to Utah, where Montana’s silver ore was sent for processing. The Walker brothers (Joseph, Samuel, Matthew, and David) of Salt Lake City sent their agent, future copper king Marcus Daly, to investigate. Daly, for whom Daly Street is named, recommended that the Walkers purchase the Alice, and in 1876 Walkerville was born. Although other mining entrepreneurs filed profitable claims, the Walkers dominated the camp. They owned the largest boarding house, financed the Broughton Brothers general store, established the Alice Hospital, the Alice Reading Room, the Alice Fire Department, and the Alice Mine and Mill Band. In 1878, that band paraded with over 150 members of the newly formed Butte Workingmen’s Union, protesting because the Walkers cut wages from $3.50 to $3.00 per day. The Walkers restored the $3.50 rate, giving the union its first victory. After Walkerville incorporated in 1890, William Hall, the Alice Mine’s superintendent, became its first mayor, naming the streets William, Rose, Pearl, and Sybil for his children. A cable car connected Walkerville to Butte in 1889, and Walkerville grew as Butte miners moved into densely clustered houses. Nevertheless, evidence of Walkerville’s origins as a silver camp remain. Many Main Street buildings date to the 1870s and 1880s, and the community retains an independent spirit.


Walkerville, MT

Walkerville, MT

Walkerville, M.T. Alice and Moulton Mines. Catalog #PAc 96-77.M9 | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT | Creator: Photograph by Haupt; successor to; Smith & Haupt; Butte City; Montana View File Details Page

Walkerville, a suburb of Butte, Montana

Walkerville, a suburb of Butte, Montana

Digital ID: cph 3c18655 Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-118655 (b&w film copy neg. of right half stereo) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. | Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division | Creator: Rau, William Herman, 1855-1920. View File Details Page

Missoula Gulch, Walkerville

Missoula Gulch, Walkerville

Missoula Gulch, Walkerville, Montana [no date] Gift of Allan G. Hooper, Butte, Montana. Catalog #PAc 98-57 67 | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

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Bounded by a line perpendicular to the "Big Butte" on the west, Anaconda Road on the east, Centerville on the south, and Ryan Road on the north.
Butte, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Walkerville,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed July 23, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/41.

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