Sunday, October 12, 2008

Butte in the Meantime

On our way to Missoula we stopped through Butte, Montana. At its peak as a copper mining boomtown, Butte was the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis, with around 100,000 people living there. Now the population is about 30,000, but signs of previous glory are everywhere – Butte has the largest historic landmark district in the country.

Butte's initial boom owed to a huge influx of Irish workers. I can't remember the guy's name but someone put ads in the New York papers that Irish could find jobs and land in Butte, and since things weren't going so well in New York at the time, many came west.

The Saint Patrick's Day parade here is one of the biggest in the country, and the University of Montana (at Missoula) has the only Irish Studies program in the United States. Many people in Butte still have a slight Irish accent, carried down since those early frontier days.

These blue sky pictures were taken on a previous trip – it's always a good idea to stop through Butte.

Up next: Missoula.


Cynthia said...

Thanks for the great post about Butte. I'm relocating there in December (never having been), and am gathering as much visual data as I can.

I've read through the rest of your posts as well. Nice photos, and I like the light style of your writing.

Joey Veltkamp said...

butte is a trip. i always love stopping there. it feels really depressed but there's something gorgeous about its decay.

EcoRover said...

Butte, America: you gotta love it.