Butte (montana)

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Nickname : Richest hill on earth
Butte in 1942
Butte in 1942
Location of Butte in Montana
Basic data
Foundation : 1864
State : United States
State : Montana
County : Silver Bow County
Coordinates : 46 ° 0 ′  N , 112 ° 32 ′  W Coordinates: 46 ° 0 ′  N , 112 ° 32 ′  W
Time zone : Mountain ( UTC − 7 / −6 )
Residents : 34,200 (as of 2010)
Population density : 76.9 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 445 km 2  (about 172 mi 2 )
Height : 1740 m
FIPS : 30-11397
GNIS ID : 2409651
Website : www.co.silverbow.mt.us
Mayor : Matt Vincent
Montana 034.jpg
Downtown Butte

Butte [ bju: t ] is a city in the US state of Montana in Silver Bow County , the county seat of which it is. It has 34,200 inhabitants (as of 2010 census) on an area of ​​445 km 2 or 171.9 square miles.



Butte was founded in 1864 as a mining settlement for the anaconda copper mine and experienced rapid development at times. There were 3,363 inhabitants in 1880, then 39,165 in 1910. Initially only gold and silver were mined in the area, but with the development of electricity, the demand for copper has increased . The Anakonda mine, initially operated in civil engineering , was the world's most productive copper mine from 1892 to 1903 . Already in 1911 as the largest city of Montana , the population of the place grew unofficially after the First World War to 60,000 in 1920. The place was called the richest hill in the world due to the rich gold and silver deposits in the area . Between 1900 and 1917 there was a strong socialist movement in the city, and in 1914 a socialist mayor was elected.

Civil engineering was abandoned in 1947 after a total of 94,900 tons of copper had been mined. From 1955, the Berkeley Pit opencast mine was opened at the site and operated by the Atlantic Richfield Company until it was closed in 1982 . The ore was smelted in Anaconda (Montana), 40 kilometers north-west . Since 1986, the Continental mine, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Berkeley Pit, has been producing copper and molybdenum by the Montana Resources company .

Railway junction

Butte was the end point of the initially narrow-gauge Utah and Northern Railroad from 1881 , which was re- gauged in 1886 and merged into the Union Pacific . In 1883 the city became a through station for the Northern Pacific Railway , which operated the long-standing North Coast Limited parade train on its route . With the development of copper mining, the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway was created in 1894 , operating a line west to Anaconda and numerous smaller mine lines in the north of the city. The last railroad to reach the city in 1908 was the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ( Milwaukee Road ) with their "Pacific Extension" and served their main line with the Olympian and Columbian parade trains . The former train was run as Olympian Hiawatha after the Second World War . After the discontinuation of all privately operated passenger trains, the semi-state Amtrak still ran the North Coast Hiawatha, a verbatim mix of North Coast Limited and Olympian Hiawatha , via Butte until 1979 .


In the 2010 United States Census , 23.6 percent of the population said they were of Irish descent. So Butte had the largest proportion of Irish Americans in the US at the time .

Film and literature

Butte was the location of the 2005 film Don't Come Knocking by Wim Wenders and is the secondary location of the first third of the novel The Map of My Dreams by Reif Larsen .

Culture and sights

Today little is left of the former wealth and the city has had a very high unemployment rate since the mine was closed. Butte lives mainly from tourism, which is made possible by the relatively well-preserved mine buildings. The Berkeley Pit , a pit filled with contaminated water from the former open pit copper ore mine , is known nationwide. The Dumas Brothel , a largely original brothel from the founding days of Butte, is now a museum .


In 1987, the local US High Altitude Speed ​​Skating Center laid an open artificial ice rink in the site, which is about 1500 meters high . It is one of several venues during the Speed ​​Skating World Cup 1987/88 from November 28 to 29, 1987, as well as national US championships thereafter. An unofficial world record is set on this track by the German Karin Enke in a mini four- way battle with 163.906 points.
After 15 years of operation with considerable wear and tear on the cooling systems, in view of the current trend towards protected hall systems, as well as a lack of interest and financing options, the ice skating operation and the system were given up around 2002.

Economy and Infrastructure

The city center of Butte (around 1890)

Milwaukee Road closed its main transcontinental route in 1980, while the route from Butte to Garrison (Montana) of the former transcontinental route of the Northern Pacific is still operated by the BNSF Railway . The Union Pacific Railroad from Pocatello joins the BNSF line from the south in nearby Silver Bow . Together with the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway, the BNSF line runs through the valley of Silver Bow Creek away from the city.

Interstate highways I 15 and I 90 meet in Butte . As a feeder from the city acts of short I 115. For Bert Mooney Airport Flights from daily to Salt Lake City with Delta Air Lines carried out.

Montana Tech University is located in Butte.


Sons and daughters of the town:


Web links

Commons : Butte (Montana)  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files
Wikivoyage: Butte (Montana)  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ City Information for Butte, MT
  2. City-Data.com, Butte, Montana
  3. a b Butte (Montana) . In: Encyclopædia Britannica . 11th edition. Volume 4. London 1910-1911, p. 889.
  4. ^ The Mining History of Butte and Anaconda. Mining History Association, accessed September 23, 2012 .
  5. ^ North Coast Hiawatha. In: everything2. February 18, 2002, accessed September 23, 2012 .
  6. ^ Kerry O'Shea: Butte, Montana is the most Irish American city according to 2010 US census. In: Irish Central , August 27, 2012.
  7. Speed ​​skating's forgotten Mecca, 2010 ( Memento of the original from May 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 4, 2012  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / i.nbcolympics.com