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Butte secures grant to save historic Basin Creek Caretaker House

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 13:06:57-04

BUTTE - The old caretaker’s home at the Basin Creek Reservoir still stands to this day. Historic preservation officers say the home, where the caretaker oversaw Butte’s precious water supply over 100 years ago, is now in need of caretaking itself.

“I mean, the craftsmanship, they just don’t build them like they used to, it’s a gorgeous house and it will be restored to its former glory eventually,” said Butte’s Historic Preservation Officer Kate McCourt.

The Butte Water Company commissioned the building of the home in 1913 south of Butte for the caretaker of the Basin Creek Reservoir and to oversee the park. The house has been vacant for decades and has fallen into disrepair.

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“I mean, the craftsmanship, they just don’t build them like they used to, it’s a gorgeous house and it will be restored to its former glory eventually,” said Butte’s Historic Preservation Officer Kate McCourt.

“It needs a new roof, it needs some clapboard work, it needs new doors and windows shored up,” said McCourt.

In 2013, the county rejected demolishing the home due to its historic significance. It was designed by the famed Montana Architect firm Link and Haire who was responsible for designing many of the state’s impressive buildings.

“The Silver Bow County Courthouse, as well as the Mother Lode Theater and a lot of buildings all throughout Montana,” said McCourt.

Butte has secured a $100,000 grant from the State Historic Preservation Office and will hire Snider LTD of Big Sky to work on the house.

A former Butte resident visiting Basin Creek Park said she supports historic preservation.

“When I come back more, I just appreciate it more and if we can preserve all the great places here, better for the community and the rest of the state,” said Missoula resident Chris Noyd.

The county needs to seek more funding to fully restore the home.

“We do plan on building it back up and making it into a usable property and we could have someone living out there at some point,” said McCourt.