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Museums, Arts and Culture in Butte


Mai Wah Museum

The Mai Wah Museum, housed in the old Mai Wah Noodle Parlor and Wah Chong Tai Mercantile buildings, contains the history of Butte’s large Chinese population at the turn of the last century. Numerous exhibits cover the history of Butte’s Chinese and include an impressive art collection as well. Call 406/723-3231 for more information.
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Montana Tech Mineral Museum

The Mineral Museum has something that is sure to amaze and inspire almost everyone. The finest examples of rock and mineral occurrences from Montana, around the world, and even outer space are on display for the general public to examine and enjoy at no cost. The museum originated as a teaching collection of 200 specimens acquired in 1901, shortly after the Montana School of Mines enrolled its first students. Thanks to donations and public support, the museum now holds 13,000 specimens, 1,000 of which are on display; a gift shop; and several exhibits that describe Montana's geology, earthquake activity, and local mining history. Prized specimens from Montana include an outstanding smoky quartz cluster, named Rheanna's Star after the daughter of the man who meticulously dug it out of the ground just east of Butte, and an impressive 27.5 troy ounce gold nugget recovered from placer workings in the mountains south of Butte. Call 406/496-4414 for more information.
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Old Butte Adventures

Old Butte Historical Adventures was established in 2004 by a small group of local historians and property owners working together to preserve and display the colorful history of Butte, Montana, commonly referred to as "The Richest Hill on Earth". Old Butte offers family friendly walking tours that reveal hints of a famously wild era, from the outside of buildings to the insides of historic uptown Butte. The tours cover every decade from the 1890’s through the 1950’s. Tours include visits to the Dellinger Block, the Rookwood Hotel, and the Hirbour Barber Shop, among other places of note. For custom and specialty tours, call 406/498-3424.

Piccadilly Museum of Transportation

The Piccadilly Museum is the public showcase for a large collection of transportation memorabilia gathered over the course of 25 years by several individuals who have traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. Their extensive and sometimes exotic exhibits of highway and subway markers, license plates, vintage cars, advertising art, and assorted petroliana from around the world are respectfully dedicated to the memory of master collector of transportation memorabilia, Roy Alan Carson. Admission is free, and donations are welcome. Call 406/723-3034 for more information.

World Museum of Mining

The World Museum of Mining was founded in 1963 when the close of Butte's mining heyday was less than two decades away. In the end, Butte experienced a century of hard-rock mining and earned the reputation of being home to one of the world's most productive copper mines of all time. The Museum exists to preserve the enduring history of Butte and the legacy of its rich mining and cultural heritage. The World Museum of Mining is one of the few museums in the world located on an actual mine yard, the Orphan Girl Mine. With fifty exhibit buildings, countless artifacts, and sixty-six primary exhibits in the mine yard, visitors can spend a couple of hours to an entire day lost in the unfolding story. 406/723-7211.
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Montana Tech

Montana Tech traces its roots to the enabling act that granted statehood to the people of Montana. In that act, the United States Congress set aside 100,000 acres to establish and maintain a school of mines. In 1900, the Montana State School of Mines opened its doors. Today, Montana Tech is recognized among America’s best universities for undergraduate education. Montana Tech possesses an internationally esteemed, century-old tradition of excellence in higher education. There are four schools and colleges: School of Mines and Engineering; College of Letters, Sciences, and Professional Studies; Highlands College; and Graduate School.
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