Montana September 26, 2019
Butte, Montana Is Loaded With Fascinating History
We’ve got some pretty delightful historic towns here in Montana — just spend a little time in Fort Benton or Virginia City and you’ll see what we mean. But as charming as those places are, they’ve certainly never been nicknamed the Richest Hill on Earth. Butte is absolutely brimming with history. Here’s where to look for it.
Believe it or not, Butte was the first major city in Montana.
It was founded in 1879 as a local mining mecca. In fact, it was once the largest city west of the Mississippi between Chicago and San Francisco.
If you've spent any time in Butte, you've probably noticed the large amount of brick buildings.
That's no accident. In 1879, a fire burned down the entire central business district. Afterwards, the Butte city council passed a law that required all new buildings downtown to be built from brick or stone.
Then, the demand for copper increased, and Butte's mining industry became one of the first centralized and industrialized businesses in the world.
And that's when Butte became known as the Richest Hill on Earth.
Although mining is no longer a major part of Butte's economy, you can see evidence of the past all over the city.
The Pekin Noodle Parlor, which was founded by immigrants in 1911, is the oldest Chinese restaurant in the country.
The Berkeley Pit is another example of evidence of Butte's mining history, although it's not everyone's cup of (acidic) tea.
The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine that is now extremely toxic. If you're curious, you can pay $2 and observe it from the viewing stand.
If you'd love to learn more about Butte's past, just check out the World Museum of Mining.
The museum is dedicated to preserving this part of Montana's history -- and you can even take an underground mine tour.
Butte is definitely a city that celebrates its history, and you'll find it everywhere you look.
The next time you visit, take a closer look at some of these spots.
Have you taken the time to explore Butte? If you time your visit right, you can even take a
Address: Butte, MT, USA