Living where I do - in a coastal area where you have the occasional HURRICANE, I'm a firm believer in underground utilities. Even out west, I still adhere to that belief. How many pictures have been screwed up by utility poles and wires?
Arriving in Butte, we see Our Lady Of The Rockies atop the Continental Divide. More about her later.
Butte is home to University of Montana Western. And it's Homecoming! The U of M Bulldogs were playing the Montana Tech Diggers.
Now for the history lesson. Gold and silver first brought the mineral wealth of remote Butte to the attention of the world. But it was copper that made Butte's reputation as "the richest hill on Earth," producing about 11 billion pounds of the metal. Copper kings William A. Clark, Augustus Heinze, and Marcus Daly fought for control of the wealth and eventually, Daly of Anaconda Co. gained control and ownership of every mine in Butte and became the dominant power.
Butte has some quite interesting architecture. This is the Clark mansion, built by Copper King William A. Clark. William Andrews Clark was already a successful businessman in Montana Territory before he came to Butte in 1872, having been involved in freighting, wholesale trade, and banking in Bannack, Virginia City, and Deer Lodge. When he decided to enter the new field of silver and copper mining, the thorough Clark typically attended the Columbia School of Mines for a year. He built Butte's first smelter and its first water system and electrical plant. In 1884, the year he chaired the territory's second constitutional convention (ending in Montana's second unsuccessful attempt at statehood), he also began construction of this mansion. Its three floors and thirty rooms would take four years and $260,000 to complete, by which time Clark was fighting the "War of the Copper Kings" after his defeat as territorial delegate to Congress. This mansion's "modern Elizabethan"architectural style was Clark's favorite. Throughout the interior are rich touches of fine hardwoods, including mahogany, cherry, laurel, sycamore, oak, and both birdseye and curly maple. The mansion's nine fireplaces are adorned with imported color tiles, each capped by a hand-carved mantle in hardwood to match the room's decor.
The Copper King Mansion is now a Bed and Breakfast and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Self-made mutimillionaire, William Clark, spent an estimated $260,000 on the construction of this splendid thirty-two room residence between 1884 and 1888. Though an astounding sum, that figure represented only a half day's earnings out of Clark's seventeen million dollar a month income. The irregular architectural plan, a classic of Queen Anne styling, features porticos, arched windows, and elaborate decorative elements. The interior boasts finishing in different wood for each room, frescoed ceilings, and Tiffany stained glass windows and chandeliers. The intricately carved staircase took four years to complete.
Now, on to the Charles W. Clark Chateau.
Charles Walker Clark Mansion The eldest son of copper king William Clark built this twenty-six room mansion for his bride, Katherine Quinn Roberts, in 1898. Massachusetts architect Will Aldrich reputedly modeled the residence after a French chateau the couple visited while honeymooning in Europe in 1896. The exterior features patterned brick enhanced by gray limestone, steep slate-covered roofs, and circular turrets. Yale-educated Charles spared no expense on details: exquisite stained glass, hand-painted wallpaper, a stately curved stairway, and the use of many kinds of rare woods reveal the work of talented craftsmen. The structure now serves Butte and Silver Bow County as a heritage museum and arts center.
This house next door is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Judge John McHatton, his wife, Rose, and their children made their home in this two and one-half story Queen Anne style residence from 1895 until 1918. Built in 1892, the elegant brick and clapboard home designed by Butte architect John Patterson features the abundant angles and decoration that distinguish the Queen Anne style. The second story was added in 1905. The growing popularity of the Colonial Revival style likely influenced the decision to incorporate an upper-story Palladian window, broken pediments above the second-floor windows, and other classical details. McHatton arrived in Butte in 1885. He served as district judge from 1889 to 1897 before resigning to work as chief council for copper king F. Augustus Heinze. At the turn of the century, Heinze employed thirty-seven lawyers in his fight against the Anaconda Company, a legal battle that at one time included 133 active lawsuits. When McHatton retired from active practice, he moved to California, but his Montana connections remained strong. Before leaving the state, he donated his entire law-library- reportedly some two thousand volumes- to the University of Montana law school.
Statue of Anaconda Copper King Marcus Daly. (He's dressed up for homecoming.) It reads: A pioneer miner who first developed the famous properties on the hill overlooking the site of this memorial which is erected by his fellow citizens in tribute to his noble traits of character in grateful remembrance of his good deeds and in commemoration of the splendid services he rendered as a builder of the city of Butte and the state of Montana. Erected A.D. 1906
Heading out of town, I got a few more shots of Our Lady Of The Rockies. This is a 90-foot tall stature of the Virgin Mary - a non-denominational tribute to motherhood. It took 6 years to build and was airlifted into place in 1985.