A town in Montana, one basically founded for mining and prospered because of mining since the 1860's. That year's gold rush brought prospectors and settlers to Butte, which is named for the large butte there, now endorsed with the large letters, "Big M." Silver was discovered there in 1874, the first ore smelter was developed in 1876, and by 1881, Butte was the largest town in Montana. In the mid-1870's, copper mining was added to the already prosperous business of silver and gold mining.

The Utah Northern Railway was the next development to be added and it linked Ogden, Utah and Butte, and commercial and industrial development prospered. With the migration of Irish, English, Italian and Chinese laborers, Butte's population was 22,000 by 1882. In that same decade, Butte became the largest copper producer in the world. By 1884, there were over 300 mines working round the clock.

In 1899, Standard Oil acquired what came to be, the Amalgamated Copper Mining Company and it was the dominating business and employer in Butte for the next 70 years. In 1955, open-pit mining became the new "way-to-go" and it literally ate up all neighborhoods that got in the way. I was in Butte for 3 days in 1974 and I vividly remember "the pit", a huge hole in the ground, so big it made those huge mining vehicles seem like little toys. The pit and the bars seemed to be the main attractions,although the friendliness of the people there outweighed everything else. In 1983, ARCO suspended operations in Butte and for the first time, the mines were quiet.


Source:http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/trails/6617/

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