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myra brothel

108 south arizona street | butte, montana


Swiss-born Antone Canonica pioneered the tin business in Butte, opening his first shop in 1898. In 1915, he constructed the ground floor of this building, moving his business and family residence here. By 1920, Canonica had completed the second story and named the building after his wife, Myra, as the elaborate nameplate attests. From 1926 to 1929, the Canonicas leased a portion of the upper story to Mrs. Mary Owen. During Prohibition, federal law closed red light districts across the nation and these activities scattered to rooming houses and hotels. Mary’s “furnished rooms” was probably a guise for prostitution. In 1927, Mary’s husband was with a female companion in the Grady Block when he died suddenly. Officials investigated his death as possible “moonshine” poisoning. After this rather shady business venture, the Canonicas were the building’s sole occupants and their six children grew up in the neighborhood. Canonica died in 1948; Myra kept house here until her death in 1955. 

(From The Montana National Register Sign Program)

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