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Tours and Attractions in Butte

GETTING TO MONTANA IS EASIER THAN EVER

Old No. 1 Trolley Tours

The fastest and most colorful way to learn about Butte is by taking a city Trolley Tour on Old No. 1. In about two hours, you’ll see where the characters, famous folk, miners and scoundrels lived and worked. Plus, you’ll hear how they made Butte the lively, urban center it was. Our drivers are specially chosen based on their knowledge of Butte history and folklore, which is presented in an entertaining manner. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 406/723-3177, and reservations are recommended.

Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand

The Berkeley Pit is a 1700’ deep hole in the ground, nearly 3 miles in circumference, and as you stand at the viewing area, the far side is about a mile away. The Pit was created over a 30 year period, beginning with block caving of some of the underground mines after WWII. By the mid-1950’s, with the availability of huge trucks and loaders, the ore was mined from the surface and milled at a concentrator just southeast of the pit. When ARCO closed all of Butte’s mines in 1982, the underground pumps at each were shut off, leaving the abandoned Pit to slowly fill with acidic water. Eventually, the water will be treated and made safe, but in the meantime, the Pit gives Butte a lake like none other, as well as giving researchers a unique challenge. Open late May through September. A small admission fee is charged. Call 406/723-3177 for hours and other information.

Butte Silver Bow County Courthouse

The Silver Bow County Courthouse may be the state’s most accessible example of the elegant and ornate Beaux Arts (pronounced Bozar) style of public architecture that was the latest style when Montana was young and rich at the beginning of the last century. The Silver Bow County Courthouse is Link & Haire’s Butte masterpiece. Construction began to replace a dilapidated older courthouse in 1910. The new courthouse cost $482,600 and was financed by public bonds. It was completed and dedicated on the 3rd of July, 1912.

Charles Clark Chateau Mansion

The Clark Chateau was constructed in 1898 by Copper King William A. Clark for his son Charles and his wife Katherine. The home was designed by Will S. Aldrich in the French Renaissance Revival style and was inspired by a chateau seen by the younger Clarks while on their honeymoon in Europe. The mansion is currently managed by the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives and features historical exhibits. Open during the summer for tours. Call 406/490-6678 for more information.

Copper King Mansion

In Montana High Wide and Handsome, Joseph Kinsey Howard wrote of William Andrews Clark that "never a dollar got away from him that didn't come back stuck to another..." William Andrews Clark was born January 8, 1839 in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Following graduation from law school, he made his way west to stake a claim near Bannack, MT, but quickly learned he was better at helping others manage their findings. He quickly amassed a growing fortune through his many mining and banking ventures, at one point having an income that was recorded at about $17 million dollars a month. When he decided to build his Butte home, the cost of the Copper King Mansion at the time, estimated at about a half-million dollars, represented a half-day's income for him. By 1900, Clark had amassed a personal fortune estimated at $50,000,000 and was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. Tours available plus a bed and breakfast. Call 406/782-7580 for more information.
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Granite Mountain Mine Memorial

Near midnight on June 8, 1917, a fire broke out at the 2,400 foot level of the Granite Mountain Mine. It quickly spread to the neighboring Speculator Mine and a combination of fire, smoke, and gas claimed the lives of 168 miners. The memorial, built in 1996, features letters to families from the fallen miners, a reproduction of the story that ran in Butte’s newspaper, and the names of the miners who gave their lives. The plaza of the memorial is paved with bricks bearing families’ remembrances. The memorial also provides a panoramic view of the remnants of mining activities on the Butte Hill. Call 406/723-3177 for directions.
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Headframes

Dotting the landscape and skyline of Butte are fourteen tall, black steel structures. Variously called gallows frames, gallus frames or headframes, they mark the remnants of the mines that honeycombed the Butte hill. Cables from a mine’s hoist house passed over sheave wheels at the top of the frame, lowering miners to their work, transporting mules, equipment, and supplies down the shafts, and most importantly, bringing up load after load of ore. Eight of the fourteen headframes have been outlined in red lights as part of a campaign to memorialize them and make them clearly visible at night. An excellent self-guided auto tour map is available that describes the headframes and explains their history. Call 406/723-3177 for more information.

Knights of Columbus Hall

The KC is the proud home of Butte’s Sports Picture Gallery, with more than 1,000 pictures covering 100+years of Butte Sports Teams and individuals. Generations of Butte families are represented, along with Butte’s most memorable coaches, athletes and championships. Call 406/490-8867 for more information.