When John D. Ryan purchased the home of Thomas Hodgens, the head cashier of the State Savings Bank in Butte, Montana in 1905, he doubled its size to mansion status. These days it graces Butte as the Hodgens Ryan Mansion B&B.
Although the mansion is not quite the opulent grandeur of the nearby Copper King Mansion where William Andrew Clark showcased his wealth as the richest man in the United States, the Hodgens Ryan Mansion blends impressiveness with settle-in-for-a-spell hospitality. The mix is superb.
As president of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Ryan created a showcase of grand living similar to the other wealthy industrialists of the time. But, current owner Peggy Guccione has turned the opulence down a notch. Instead, this rambling B&B is a mix of down home comfort and the mansion’s Victorian era past.
Leaded glass, a polished wood staircase that winds up and up, and antique furnishings and artwork add to an aura of period authenticity, but whatever stuffiness might have existed during Ryan’s ownership is long gone.
The mansion’s expansive porch is set up for visits with seating for a crowd and overnight guests are welcome to use the well-equipped kitchen as if it was their own. The living room, dining room and other sitting areas are also open for guests to feel at home.
If you want to make a several course meal and serve it in the dining room, go ahead. If setting out bowls of pretzels, chips, dip and mixed nuts are more your style, that’s fine too. Gather around the kitchen counter, plop down in the leather couch in the living room, settle onto the top step of the front porch–wherever you find conversation, or a place of tucked away from action quiet, that’s the place to be.
For a post wedding gathering of guests who were staying here for a wedding weekend in August, as well as, friends (that’s where I come in) who stopped by for libations, snacks and pizza delivered in lieu of going out, the Hodgens Ryan Mansion was perfect for swapping stories and catching up.
When there’s not a wedding party that has taken over the place–all but one room on this weekend, the guests are as varied as: solo travelers, parents of college students attending Montana Tech, couples on a weekend getaway, world travelers and people relocating to Butte mixed in. Rooms are rented out from one night to extended stays of a week or more. There are monthly rates as well.
The 10 guest rooms are as varied as the guests. For those looking for space to spread out, and perhaps the place to start writing your memoir, the John D. Ryan Suite is an option.
The suite includes a bedroom with a queen-size antique brass bed, a living area and a bathroom with subway-style tiles and a large tub. There wasn’t a TV when this was John Ryan’s room. There is now-cable included.
On the opposite end of size, but still with a writing desk, the Laundress Room is perfect for one person who doesn’t mind sharing a bathroom. Located on the 3rd floor, this is the smallest room in the house, but large enough to feel comfortable, yet cozy.
For those who want to keep their exercise regimen while they travel, a large room to the back of the kitchen has exercise equipment for guest use. This is where you’ll find the washing machine and dryer, that guests can also use.
Located in a downtown neighborhood of Butte, the Hodgens Ryan mansion is within walking distance to many of Butte’s attractions, shops and restaurants. You could park and not need to use your car for much of your stay.
If you’re tucked in for the night or looking for a break from sight-seeing, check out the games and books on hand for guests to borrow. There is also WiFi.
To book a room, call 1-406-873-8076 or email [email protected]. Debra, the concierge and property manager is a Butte native and happy to help guests plan their Butte itinerary.
Rates range from $45 to $105 per day. The room rates do include a continental breakfast.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein