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Butte: Recreation

Butte: Recreation

Sightseeing

In 2002 Butte was one of only 12 towns in America to be named a distinctive destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A popular Trolley Tour takes visitors to all the key sightsOld No. 1, a replica of the city's original electric trolley car system, operates four times daily from the first of June through Labor Day. Both St. Lawrence Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church have stunning frescoes that are open to public viewing. Butte's historic district also showcases several homes built during the days of the mining barons. The Copper King Mansion, built in 1888, was the Elizabethan-Victorian-style home of William S. Clark, whose battle with Marcus Daly for control in Butte has become a local legend; the mansion is now a bed and breakfast inn. Another impressive structure is the Charles Clark Mansion, also called the Arts Chateau, home of William A. Clark's son and a replica of a French chateau; completely restored and housing an arts center and gallery, it has been designated as a National Historic Structure. On the west side of the city are other fashionable, late-nineteenth-century homes.

Overlooking Butte from Montana Tech Hill is a statue of Marcus Daly by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. North of the downtown district stands the "gallows frame" of the Original Mine, which was used to raise and lower miners and ores from the underground mine. To the east of the city is the Berkeley Pit, started in 1955, and once the largest truck-operated open pit copper mine in the United States; it is an example of the process that replaced underground vein mining. The Granite Mountain Memorial commemorates the 168 miners who died during a 1917 fire at the Granite Mountain and Speculator mines. Also east of Butte, atop the Continental Divide, is Our Lady of the Rockies, a statue of the Christian religion's Virgin Mary. Standing 90 feet high and floodlighted at night, the statue is a nondenominational monument to motherhood that was built with donated materials and labor and completed in 1985.

Among the points of interest within driving distance of Butte are ghost towns such as Alder Gulch, Cable, Granite, and Philipsburg, where legends were formed and fortunes made during the gold and silver booms.

Arts and Culture

A culturally active city, Butte supports a symphony, a community arts center, and a theater company. The Mother Lode, completed in 1923 as a Masonic Temple but never occupied by Masons, has been rehabilitated and serves as southwest Montana's premier performing arts center. The Butte Symphony Orchestra programs a four-concert season featuring a choral group and soloists. Theater is presented by Orphan Girl Theater and the Mother Lode Theater. Opera productions and appearances by national touring groups and speakers are also scheduled in the city.

Butte's principal museums are related to the mining industry. The World Museum of Mining and Hell Roarin' Gulch, a popular attraction in the area, features indoor and outdoor exhibits that replicate an early mining environment. Among the indoor displays are models of mines, minerals, fire fighting equipment, a Stanley steam engine, and an electric hoist. Outdoor exhibits include a reconstructed 1900 mining camp, with a print shop, Chinese laundry, bank, drug store, millinery shop, and other authentic structures. Also featured at the museum is a tour on the Neversweat and Washoe Railroad aboard a train drawn by an M-10 locomotive; the tour starts at the museum, traveling past mines and head frames, to nearby Kelly mine. Commentary on mine history is presented. The Dumas Brothel was the longest-running establishment of its kind in America; Butte once had as many as 2,400 ladies of the evening working in town. The Mineral Museum at Montana Tech exhibits 1,500 items from its collection of more than 15,000 mineral specimens gathered from throughout the world; a highlight is a display of fluorescent minerals. The Mai Wah preserves the history of Butte's Chinese miners.

The Picadilly Museum of Transportation houses a fascinating array of exhibits about transportation in America, from antique cars to gas pumps to road signs. The Mother Bottego House honors Celestine Mary Bottego, who spent 15 years in Butte and has been nominated for beatification. At the Butte-Silver Bow Arts Chateau a professional art gallery mounts changing exhibits of works by local and national artists. Several private art galleries are also located in the city.

Festivals and Holidays

The Arts Chateau holds a Wine Tasting Festival in February. The Winternational Sports Festival, a multisport event, begins in February and continues into March, when St. Patrick's Day festivities such as a parade and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Banquet also take place. On March 16 the Finnish-American community gives thanks to St. Urho for chasing the grasshoppers out of Finland. Ghost Walks takes place in April at the Mining Museum. July is an event-filled month; included among the activities are the Arts Chateau Summer Display, Evel Knievel Days, and the Freedom Festival parade and community picnic. An Ri Rathe Montana Gaelic Cultural Festivaltakes place each August. Mining Heritage Day happens in September. The year ends with the annual Christmas Stroll, Ice-Sculpting Contest, and Festival of Trees.

Sports for the Spectator

Butte's U.S. High Altitude Sports Center has three times been chosen as the site of the World Cup Speedskating competition. Other sporting events include state wrestling tournaments and rodeos.

Sports for the Participant

Butte has some 30 parks ranging from mini parks on lots to major parks such as Stodden and the recently built Copper Mountain Sports and Recreation Complex north of Timber Butte. Municipal parks located in Butte provide such facilities as a swimming pool, basketball courts, baseball and football fields, tennis courts, golf courses, an Olympic-sized skating rink, and running/walking tracks. Recreational areas outside the city include the Blacktail Creek and Alice Pit Walking Trails, the Red Mountain Highlands (a 10,000 foot peak), Humburg Spires rock climbing site, kayaking on Big Hole and Madison rivers, downhill skiing at Maverick Mountain and Discovery Basin, and a number of golf layouts that offer spectacular scenery in the Butte foothills. Golfers may particularly wish to visit town of Anaconda, 26 miles from Butte, where an $11 million, 200-acre golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus has been built atop the ruins of a smelting plant. Butte is surrounded by lakes, streams, and reservoirs where trout fishing, boating, and waterskiing are popular pastimes.

Shopping and Dining

Historic Uptown has several unique stores that deal in antiques, toys, and tools, and art galleries that specialize in Western art. In addition to the Butte Plaza Mall, a shopping plaza that features a major department store, Butte's Harrison Avenue has small shops and stores with specialties ranging from locally made crafts and gifts to sporting equipment.

More than 80 restaurants in Butte provide a variety of choices that include fast food and family dining, as well as the more formal atmosphere of supper clubs. Among the cuisines offered are Chinese, Greek, Italian, and traditional American. Local favorites include The Acoma on Broadway, Gamer's Café on Park, the Gold Rush Casino and Restaurant on Galena, and Pork Chop John's (three locations). A local specialty is pasties, which are meat pies that were originally brought to Butte by Cornish miners in the 1870s.

Visitor Information: Butte/Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce, 1000 George St, Butte MT 59701; telephone (406)723-3177; toll-free (800)735-6814; email chamber @buttecvb.com

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Butte: Economy

Butte: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Since Butte's founding during a gold boom, its principal industry has been mining. From the mid-1880s to the 1980s, Butte produced an estimated $22 billion in minerals mined. More than 8 percent of the nation's copper continues to be produced in Butte, joining other important minerals such as lead, zinc, and magnesium. In the 1970s, when underground mines were closed, the copper industry began to decline; it reached its lowest point in 1983 when mining operations in the Butte area completely ceased for a time.

This recession began to ease in 1986 when copper mines were reopened, creating more than 300 jobs. This upsurge brought development in other areas such as transportation, tourism and recreation, small businesses, technology, energy research, medicine, and communications. Accolades have poured in during recent years, lauding Butte's economic resurgence, even earning the town a four-minute spot on the Paul Harvey radio program. Lou Tice of the Pacific Institute in Seattle hailed Butte as a "city on the move." Citing the economic rebirth of Butte, Tice attributed the successes to ". . . its peopletheir tenacity, their hard work and the remarkable goals they set."

Items and goods produced: motors, dairy and food products, compressed and liquefied gases, beverages, optical goods, chemicals, steel fabrications, phosphate products

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The Butte/Silver Bow Tax Increment Financing Industrial District (Butte has two, comprising 1,300 acres) directs new tax dollars accrued from new development within the district to assist further development within the boundaries of the district. There are four other tax incentive programs available to local businesses that qualify. The Butte Local Development Corporation (BLDC), a principal catalyst in the region's economic turnaround, is considered one of the best economic development organizations for its size in the country. Its mission is to create jobs through industrial development. BLDC accomplishes these goals through capital acquisition, land and infrastructure development, development and maintenance of informational tools, economic analysis and planning, and numerous other activities. The BLDC also administers five loan programs.

State programs

State of Montana tax incentives include property tax reduction; no inventory, use, or sales tax; new industry income tax credits; small business investment tax credit; and tax reduction on pollution control equipment.

Development Projects

Government and industry leaders have organized to encourage expansion of Butte's economic base by capitalizing on the area's natural resources: agriculture, forest products, and mining. Steps have been made to reopen mines or help existing mines stay in business. The Montana Copper mine was reopened in 2003, creating 330 jobs and $11 million in annual payroll for local workers. The BDLC in 2004 announced renewed efforts to keep the Golden Sunlight and Luzenac America mines in operation, as well as provide assistance to the Northwestern Energy Corporation as it went through bankruptcy proceedings. The recently completed Port of Montana Hub, intended to facilitate the loading and transporting of minerals and forest products by rail and motor freight carriers, is expected to contribute significantly to the area's economic development. Other steps toward economic stabilization include the opening of a small business incubator, the establishment of Butte's Cyber Village and Silicon Mountain Technology Park where several science and technology firms have started up or relocated, and the development of the U.S. High Altitude Sports Center. Other efforts either completed or underway by 2005 included development of an East Side Urban Renewal Area, a music and entertainment district downtown, a new community ice center and jail, and improvements to the Civic Center.

Once called an "environmental wasteland" because of the damage done to it by mining and smelting, Butte is gradually recovering. The Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO) had spent more than $400 million on reclamation work to repair damage in the area by capping mine tailings with clean dirt, landscaping, and re-vegetating damaged land. In 2004 ARCO agreed to contribute an additional $50 million to the Montana Superfund in efforts to clean up the Clark Fork Basin.

Economic Development Information: Butte Local Development Corporation, PO Box 507, Butte, MT 59703; telephone (406)723-4349; fax (406)723-4672

Commercial Shipping

Butte is a major inland port from which imported cargo is shipped via rail and motor carrier to points throughout the Midwest. Butte is located at the only rail interline in the state of the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads. Piggyback service is provided, and trains run up to twelve times weekly from Butte. Several motor freight carriers regularly transport goods through facilities in Butte, with overnight and second-day delivery to major cities in the West and Midwest; in addition, well over 1,000 motor freight carriers serving the state have access to Butte.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

When the Butte Job Service surveyed 10 major employers in the Butte area, they reported rates of absenteeism from 1 to 2 percent, and turnover rates that average 3 percent. Butte's labor force in 2005 included many potential employees and other well-trained workers with skills and experience beyond their present employment. Silver Bow County has experienced ups and downs in employment levels as it has made the difficult transition to a more diversified economy. Growth in the 1990s was driven in a large part by construction of the American Silicon Minerals corporate headquarters in Butte. Following the loss of construction jobs in 1999, employment losses were once again experienced with the shutdown of Montana Resources in mid 2000. Between December 1999 and December 2002, growth increased an average of 0.1% per year, and that pace has held to the mid-2000s. A particular bright spot has been the city's success in luring international firms to the Silicon Mountain Technology Park and Cyber Village.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Silver Bow County labor force as of 2001.

Size of labor force: 15,816

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.87 (Montana average, 2004)

Unemployment rate: 6.0% (January 2005, Silver Bow County)

Largest employers Number of employees
Montana Tech 676
Butte School District No. 1 658
St. James Community Hospital 535
Northwestern Energy 511
Wal-Mart 430
Butte-Silver Bow Local Government 412
Community Counseling and Correctional 275
Advanced Silicon Materials 232
M.S.E. Inc. 200

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Butte area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.0% to 11.0%

State sales tax rate: None

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $669.24 per $1,000 of taxable value. Assessed at 1.82% to 1.54% of the actual market value (2005)

Economic Information: Butte/Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce, 1000 George St, Butte MT 59701; telephone (406)723-3177; toll-free (800)735-6814; email chamber @buttecvb.com. Research & Analysis Bureau, Montana Department of Labor & Industry, PO Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624; telephone (406)444-2430

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Butte: History

Butte: History

Discovery of Gold and Silver Brings Settlers to Region

The area surrounding Butte's present location remained uninhabited before gold was discovered in 1864 in Silver Bow Creek. Native Americans and explorers passed through the region, but found no attractions for permanent settlement until two prospectors detected placer deposits in the creek; they named the site the Missoula lode. Other prospectors came, and by 1867 the population of the mining settlement reached 500 people. Water was scarce, however, and the town began to decline; the 1870 census recorded only about 200 people.

One of the region's first prospectors, William Farlin, returned in 1874 to claim several outcrops of quartz that he had discovered previously. Before long a silver boom began, bringing a chaos of claim staking and claim jumping as prospectors overran the site. Investors William Clark and Andrew Davis constructed mills for extracting gold and silver, and by 1876, when a townsite patent was issued, the prosperous camp numbered 1,000 residents. Marcus Daly, representing Salt Lake City mining entrepreneurs, arrived that same year and bought the Alice Mine, naming it Walkerville for his employers. In 1879 Butte, which had been named for Big Butte, a volcanic cone to the northwest, was incorporated as a city.

Copper Discovered; Butte Thrives; Unions Formed

In 1880 Daly sold his interest in the Walker mining operations and bought the Anaconda Mine. As he was digging for silver, Daly struck copper, thus initiating the industry that eventually made him one of the country's wealthiest and most powerful men. Daly attracted investors from as far away as Boston and New York, and within a year the town had several mines and mining companies. In a lifelong rivalry with William Clark for control of Butte, Daly finally won out as the "boss" of a one-industry town. The arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1881 ensured Butte's success as the leading producer of copper in the United States.

With a population of 14,000 people in 1885, Butte supported banks, schools, a hospital, a fire department, churches, and a water company. Copper production and the development of mining companies continued until the turn of the century, when Daly joined with the Rockefeller family to form the Amalgamated Copper Mining Company, one of the early twentieth-century trusts. By the first decade of the twentieth century Butte was a major rail hub, with four railroads connecting in the city. Amalgamated, having bought out other mining companies in Butte, changed its name back to the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in 1915.

The labor movement was important to Butte's history. The Butte Miner's Union was formed in 1878 to protect miners from the dangers of working underground. The Butte delegation was the largest at the 1906 founding convention of the International Workers of the World (IWW) in Chicago. During the early twentieth century the union's power began to decline when mining companies were consolidated and management became indifferent to worker demands. The dynamiting of the union hall in 1914 and the lynching of an IWW organizer in 1917 led to seven years of martial law in Butte. The worst hardrock mining disaster in American history, the Spectacular Mine Fire, also took place in 1917, killing 168 miners.

Present-day Butte neighborhoods such as Dublin Gulch, Finntown, Chinatown, and Corktown attest to the city's diverse ethnic roots. Since the community's earliest days immigrants from all over the world settled in Butte to work the mines. When the placer camp was started in 1864, Chinese miners were the first to arrive. Later came Cornish, Irish, and Welsh laborers, and for a time Irish workers formed the dominant group. Then Serbs, Croats, French Canadians, Finns, Scandinavians, Jews, Lebanese, Mexicans, Austrians, Germans, and African Americans added to the ranks of miners.

Mining Declines; Economy Diversifies

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the mining industry continued to dominate the Butte economy. Changes began to take place, however; underground mining gave way to pit mining in the 1950s when high-grade copper-ore deposits were exhausted and above-ground exploration for low-grade ore began. In 1976 Anaconda was bought by Atlantic Richfield Company; in 1983 the mines were completely closed. Unemployment rose to more than 17 percent and Butte's survival seemed threatened. That same year a task force composed of government and business leaders was formed to ensure a future for Butte through a concerted effort to diversify the city's economy. Since then, mines have reopened, a transportation hub was built at the Port of Montana, the U.S. High Altitude Sports Center was located in the city, and several high-technology firms have established facilities in the area. These efforts at economic stability, diversification, and growth have been recognized by the Montana Ambassadors, the Pacific Institute, the U.S. Corporation for Economic Development, and Newsweek magazine, which commented in an article about the area's steady decline and stagnant economy, that "in Montana, Butte has engineered the most dramatic turnaround."

Historical Information: Butte Silver-Bow Public Archives, PO Box 81, Butte, MT 59703; telephone (406)497-6226

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Butte: Education and Research

Butte: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The public elementary and secondary school system in Butte is Butte School District #1. The district is overseen by an eight-member elected school board and is administered by a superintendent appointed by the board. In 2005 the district was comprised of seven elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The district considers itself one of the most technologically advanced in Montana, with 100 percent internet access for all students. The district offers a full range of after-school latchkey and enrichment programs, adult education, and a unique Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (R.S.V.P.) that brings local retirees together with students to form tutoring and mentoring relationships.

The following is a summary of data regarding Butte's public schools as of the 20022003 school year.

Total enrollment: 4,936

Number of facilities elementary schools: 7

middle schools: 1

senior high schools: 1

other: 1

Student/teacher ratio: 16.8:1 (elementary and middle school); 15.8: 1 (high school)

Teacher salaries (state figure, 2002-2003) average: $35,754

Funding per pupil: $5,863 elementary; $8,298 high school

Several religious and secular parochial elementary and high schools provide alternatives to public education in the Butte metropolitan area.

Public Schools Information: Butte School District #1, 111 North Montana, Butte, MT 59701; telephone (406)496-2000

Colleges and Universities

Montana Tech of the University of Montana, originally chartered as the Montana State School of Mines, comprises three colleges, one school, and the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Montana Tech offers 6 certificate, 9 associates, 19 bachelors, and 11 masters programs. With a 2005 enrollment of 2100 students, the school conducts basic and applied research and provides graduates with degrees in such fields as geophysical engineering, mineral processing, and petroleum engineering. Butte Vo Tech, formerly independent but now under the umbrella of Montana Tech and the University of Montana, offers career training in a number of vocations, including data processing, practical nursing, and automotive mechanics technology. Both Montana State University-Bozeman and the University of Montana in Missoula are within a two-hour drive of Butte.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Butte-Silver Bow Library is located in Butte. Holdings consist of 75,000 volumes and nearly 200 periodical subscriptions, with special collections relating to Montana architecture, historic preservation, and fishing. The library is the headquarters for the Montana Public Library Film Service. The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives holds information on local families and history, plus more than 30 labor history and 70 personal collections. The Historic Hearst Free Library in Anaconda offers more than 43,000 volumes, 66 periodicals, 16 newspapers, and a repository of historic memorabilia.

The Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology Library houses nearly 50,000 volumes, 78,446 maps, and 425,636 documents including paper, microform, and electronic media. The library is a depository for federal and state government documents. In addition, the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology conducts research activities in such fields as water resources, earthquakes, mines, and geology. Butte is home to the National Center for Appropriate Technology Research Library. Most of the other libraries and research centers in the city also specialize in energy and technology.

Public Library Information: Butte-Silver Bow Library, 226 West Broadway Street, Butte, MT 59701; telephone (406)723-3361

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Butte: Population Profile

Butte: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents (Silver Bow County)

1980: 38,092

1990: 33,941

2000: 34,606

Percent change, 19902000: 1.9%

U.S. rank in 2000: 1,262


City Residents (Butte/Silver Bow balanced)

1980: 37,205

1990: 33,336

2000: 33,892

2003 estimate: 32,519

Percent change, 19902000: 1.6%

U.S. rank in 1980: 605th

U.S. rank in 1990: 806th

U.S. rank in 2000: 887th


Density: 47.3 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 32,325

Black or African American: 53

American Indian and Alaska Native: 675

Asian: 147

Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 21

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 927

Other: 200


Percent of residents born in state: 73.3% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 1,947

Population 5 to 9 years old: 2,250

Population 10 to 14 years old: 2,407

Population 15 to 19 years old: 2,451

Population 20 to 24 years old: 2,231

Population 25 to 34 years old: 3,796

Population 35 to 44 years old: 5,246

Population 45 to 54 years old: 4,801

Population 55 to 59 years old: 1,820

Population 60 to 64 years old: 1,491

Population 65 to 74 years old: 2,628

Population 75 to 84 years old: 2,057

Population 85 years and over: 767

Median age: 38.9 years


Births (2003)

Total number: 398


Deaths (2003)

Total number: 402


Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $17,068

Median household income: $30,516

Total households: 14,176

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 1,720

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,558

$15,000 to $24,999: 2,577

$25,000 to $34,999: 2,175

$35,000 to $49,999: 2,251

$50,000 to $74,999: 2,427

$75,000 to $99,999: 758

$100,000 to $149,999: 463

$150,000 to $199,999: 108

$200,000 or more: 139

Percent of families below poverty level: 10.7% (57.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

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Butte: Communications

Butte: Communications

Newspapers

Butte's daily morning newspaper is the Montana Standard. Students at Montana Tech publish the Technocrat.

Television and Radio

In 2003 Bresnan Communications bought the rights to Butte cable television and invested several million dollars to upgrade the number of channels available and to bring high-speed internet to Butte citizens. Viewers have access to ABC, CBS, and NBC television broadcasts. 93.1 FM is the city's Public Radio outlet. Seven other FM radio stations and two AM stations originate their signals from Butte. A number of other radio stations can be picked up from neighboring communities.

Media Information: The Montana Standard, 25 W. Granite St., Butte, MT 59701; telephone (406)496-5500; email editor@mtstandard.com

Butte Online

Butte Chamber of Commerce. Available www.butteinfo.org

Butte Local Development Corporation. Available www.buttemontana.org

Butte Public School District #1. Available www.butte.k12.mt.us

Butte-Silver Bow Local Government. Available www.co.silverbow.mt.us

Montana Standard. Available www.mtstandard.com

Only in Butte. History stories about Butte's past. Available www.butteamerica.com/hist.htm

Selected Bibliography

Ciabattari, Mark, "The Fall and Rise of Butte, MT" The New York Times Magazine, March 1, 1992, pp. 48+

Hammett, Dashiell, Red Harvest (South Yarmouth, MA: J. Curley, 1983)

Morris, Patrick F. Anaconda Montana: Copper Smelting Boomtown on the Western Frontier. (Bethesda, Md.: Swann Pub., 1997)

Writers Program, Montana, Copper Camp: Stories of the World's Greatest Mining Town, Butte, Mont. (New York: AMS Press, 1976)

Writers Project of Montana, Copper Camp: The Lusty Story of Butte, Montana, the Richest Hill on Earth (Riverbend Publishing, 2001)

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Butte

Butte

Butte: Introduction
Butte: Geography and Climate
Butte: History
Butte: Population Profile
Butte: Municipal Government
Butte: Economy
Butte: Education and Research
Butte: Health Care
Butte: Recreation
Butte: Convention Facilities
Butte: Transportation
Butte: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1864 (incorporated, 1879)

Head Official: Chief Executive Paul Babb (since 2005)

City Population (Butte/Silver-Bow balance)

1980: 37,205

1990: 33,336

2000: 33,892

2003 estimate: 32,519

Percent change, 19902000: 1.6%

U.S. rank in 1980: 605th

U.S. rank in 1990: 806th

U.S. rank in 2000: 887th

Metropolitan Area Population (Silver Bow County)

1980: 38,092

1990: 33,941

2000: 34,606

Percent change, 19902000: 1.9%

U.S. rank in 2000: 1,262

Area: 716.2 square miles (2000)

Elevation: ranges from 5,484 to 6,463 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 53.2° F (maximum), 27.1° F (minimum)

Average Annual Precipitation: 12.75 inches

Major Economic Sectors: Transportation, energy research, medicine, tourism

Unemployment rate: 6.0% (January 2005, Silver Bow County)

Per Capita Income: $17,068 (2000)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

Major Colleges and Universities: Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology

Daily Newspaper: Montana Standard

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Butte: Convention Facilities

Butte: Convention Facilities

The Butte Civic Center, accessible to about 1,300 hotel and motel rooms and bed and breakfast inns in the metropolitan area, is a prime meeting facility both in the city and in the Northwest. Located in close proximity to major population centers, the complex offers a range of facilities for large and small group functions and sporting and recreational events. Total seating capacity is approximately 6,000 people, with parking for up to 1,200 vehicles on site or in the immediate area.

Meeting and convention accommodations are also available at the city's two major hotels. The Copper King Park Hotel features ten multipurpose meeting rooms, including a recreation area with more than 7,000 square feet of space, a convention center providing more than 5,000 square feet, smaller rooms with seating for small groups, and a ballroom accommodating up to 1,200 participants. The Best Western features large and small meeting rooms, indoor pool, spa, and fitness center, and the Hops Bar and Casino. The Fairmont Chalets and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offer a more relaxed, country setting outside of Butte.

Convention Information: Butte/Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce, 1000 George St, Butte MT 59701; telephone (406)723-3177; toll-free (800)735-6814; email chamber @buttecvb.com

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Butte (city, United States)

Butte (byōōt), city (1990 pop. 33,336), seat of Silver Bow co., SW Mont.; inc. 1879. It is a trade, ranching, and industrial center. Mining dominated the city's life and economy from its establishment in 1862. Copper, as well as zinc, silver, manganese, gold, lead, molybdenum, and arsenic have been extracted from mines in the region; copper is still mined.

First an 1860s gold-hunters' camp, then an 1870s silver center, Butte gained importance when copper was discovered (c.1880) and Marcus Daly with his Anaconda Copper Mining Company began to exploit the "richest hill on earth." A huge open-pit mine, the Berkeley, opened in 1955; its expansion forced the relocation of one fifth of Butte's population.

"The Pit" was abandoned in 1982 and has filled with contaminated water draining from surrounding mines. The city, now the largest Superfund site in the nation, has become, in effect, a laboratory for environmental resuscitation efforts, and a number of pollution-remediation companies are based there. Montana Tech of the Univ. of the Montana is also in the city, and Butte is the headquarters of Deerlodge National Forest. Local attractions include museums of mining and minerals, Our Lady of the Rockies, and the Copper King Mansion, once the home of William A. Clark.

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Butte: Introduction

Butte: Introduction

Once dependent almost solely on the mining industryin the early 1900s it was called "the richest hill on earth" because of the valuable ores that lay beneath itButte, like many older American cities, is in the midst of a transition toward a more diversified economy. With easy access to western and midwestern markets, Butte is one of the west's major transportation hubs; the city is also moving into enterprises related to energy research and high-altitude sports training. Despite the changes underway, Butte retains its multiethnic heritage and its connection to the breathtaking natural beauty of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. For statistical and other purposes, Butte is traditionally linked with Silver Bow County.

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Butte: Transportation

Butte: Transportation

Approaching the City

The Bert Mooney Airport is served by Alaska Airlines, Sky West, Horizon Air, and Delta Airlines. Most flights connect in Salt Lake City or through Bozeman/Seattle. Greyhound and Rimrock lines provide bus transportation.

The principal highways into Butte are Interstate-15, running north and south, and Interstate-90, approaching from the northwest, which intersect in the city. A network of seven state highways also serves Butte.

Traveling in the City

Butte is laid out on a grid pattern, although some streets run diagonally to follow railroad or freeway routes. Harrison Avenue is the main north-south thoroughfare. Butte Transit System provides bus service.

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Butte: Health Care

Butte: Health Care

The chief medical provider for the Butte-Silver Bow area is the St. James Healthcare system, part of the Montana region of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, which also has operations in Billings and Miles City. The Butte facility employs more than 600 people, including 75 doctors, and has more than 100 beds. St. James provides medical services in the fields of cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics, women's and children's services, emergency services, MRI, pain management, renal dialysis, and others. A number of other institutions provide mental health services, dental care, hospice care, chiropractic care, chemical dependency rehabilitation, and more.

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Butte: Geography and Climate

Butte: Geography and Climate

Butte is located in Summit Valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on the west slope of the Continental Divide in southwestern Montana. Silver Bow Creek, part of the Columbia River systemand called Clark Fork outside the cityruns through Butte. The climate is semi-arid, with a growing season of 81 days.

Area: 716.2 square miles (2000)

Elevation: ranges from 5,484 to 6,463 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 15.4° F; July, 62.9° F; annual average: 53.2° F (maximum); 27.1° F (minimum)

Average Annual Precipitation: 12.75 inches

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Butte: Municipal Government

Butte: Municipal Government

The governments of the city of Butte and Silver Bow County are combined and are administered by a Chief Executive and council. The twelve council members and the Chief Executive all serve four-year terms.

Head Official: Chief Executive Paul Babb (since 2005; current term expires 2009)

Total Number of City Employees: 480 (2000)

City Information: Butte/Silver Bow Government Courthouse, 155 West Granite, Butte, MT 59701; telephone (406)497-6260

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