As I write this, I have logged 2700 miles and would expect another 600 or so before I get back to home base. A little less than the last 3 years but this year I didn’t want to get to far away from Sturgis and have to push it hard to get there. I have recently read a book on the history of Montana so I knew I wanted to visit Butte. You can google Butte and learn all of the details but here is my quick take. Once known as the richest hill on earth during the 20’s, Butte now looks like it could fall apart and crumble any minute. The city is surrounded by these underground mine frames.
The underground mines were controlled by the then: three copper kings. With the advent of electricity, copper prices were high and the three copper kings were constantly trying to out manuever each other and gain control. One of the copper kings lived here.
The copper kings built their mansions and then surrounded themselves with their own doctors and lawyers and their mini mansions surrounded the king’s mansion.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the sign on this house that was next to the copper king, it kind of reminded me of the company I work for and I wonder when we will have a full time lawyer on staff.
If you love old wrought iron fences like I do then you should visit Butte, it is full of them.
Eventually one of the copper kings joined up with Rockefeller and the underground mines were shut down and converted to open pit mining. The company became the Anaconda Mining company. In 1977 ARCO bought the Anaconda company and then shut it down in 1982 due to low copper prices. They resumed some mining off and on floating with metal prices and eventually shut down all in 2003. In the process one of their largest pits starting filling up with water…..extreme acidic water and then became the largest environmental disaster on the EPA’s superfund list. Arco is responsible for the clean up which has only recently begun. Guess who owns ARCO?
There are 100’s of Victorian style houses that are begging for restoration like this one.
The alleys are filled with treasures like this one. I would love to go pickin in Butte, I am sure it is full of neat old stuff that can be bought very reasonably.
Hey! This guy didn’t get the memo that all Elkhorn Trucks should be backed in! (inside joke)
Now that I have bored you with History Class it is time to turn this pony around and head to Sturgis. The road took me through Billings. Hey I didn’t know Gilly was here? (another inside joke)
I would like to tell you a lot more about Butte and work some more on the phone and blackberry but I am getting close to Sturgis now and I can’t talk anymore.
Why can’t I talk to you any longer?
Well, like I said, 2700 miles, my butt hurts, my back hurts and I need to get a topless massage!
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