The House

The writer in residence is located at 11 Lexington Terr in Walkerville, MT. Walkerville sits just above the uptown historic district of Butte, MT. It was once a bustling town of almost four thousand people now home to about 300 residents. The Alice mine in Walkerville harkens to the days before the mother lode of copper was found in Butte. There was silver, gold, zinc and lead pulled from the Alice and the town of Walkerville spang up around her. The houses are all built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The resident house is an 1891 miners four square cottage. The house is post and beam with a hip roof, there are three glassed in porches that surround the house on the north, east and south sides. These houses were built before plumbing and insulation. They sit on the unforgiving granite rock sometimes with no foundation at all.

 

Inside Dear Butte the cozy space is restored with it’s original douglas fir floors, gas heat, vintage Wedgewood gas stove and vintage refrigerator. There is a remodeled bathroom as well as a washer and dryer in the basement, a queen sized bed and lovely views. There are all the modern comforts in this charming home. I love working here and know you will as well.

Butte, MT

Butte, MT is a town of roughly 33k people sitting atop the continental divide in south western Montana. Butte was once the largest city between Chicago and San Francisco at the turn of the 19th century due to the massive lode of copper found in its granite mountains and the subsequent extraction that created immense wealth and industry. It is a town of staggering history and architecture, a post industrial city that is continually finding its footing since it was named the first superfund cleanup site by the federal government in 1984. Butte residents are generous, tough and hard scrabble folks. Wonderfully unique and caring and uttery prideful in their community.

 

There is a wealth of information about this city, here are a few examples I enjoy.

 

‘Pennies from Hell’ by Edwin Dobb

‘The Richest Hill’ a podcast by Nora Saks

Butte, America

‘Fire and Brimstone’ by Michael Punke

Butte, MT

My Story

Christy Hays

Christy Hays Executive Director of Working Quiet 5013(c)

Years back came across a little green house on the terrace in Walkerville, I took one look at it and fell in love. It wasn’t for sale but I found the owner on the Montana Cadastral and wrote Edwin Dobb in San Francisco, CA a letter asking if he’d be willing to sell his house. This simple exchange sparked a pen pal friendship between Ed and I that lasted about 8 years. I am a songwriter and performer by trade and sent him my music, he sent me essays he’d written. I learned he was a well respected writer and a native of Butte. It was an easy connection and natural friendship. Ed became a mentor to me over the years, he helped me make sense of being an artist in the world and how to navigate the inherent heartbreak such a life invites. In 2014 he offered to sell. I told Ed from the beginning I wanted to make it a writer in residence. He agreed that would be wonderful and I’ve been persuing this intention ever since.

 

This journey has been a labor of love that I’ve been anxious to show off to Ed once the residency is up and running. Ed suddenly passed away this past summer 2019 of complications from a heart attack. I was, like so many others, crushed to lose his friendship and guidance. His death was heavy news for me and I’m still making sense of it. The house has always held a lot of creative energy. Ed penned many important pieces of work in the house, I wrote my last album there. I was drawn to Montana by my love for wilderness, breathing room and solitude. The refuge I have been building is a mirror of my own needs and I can only hope the space serves other writers as it has served me. 

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