Bulldoze It All

8 thoughts on “Bulldoze It All”

  1. Butte has always been gritty and rough… much like Leadville, Colorado. As a youngster in the 1960’s, my parents always gave Butte a wide berth when we visited that area. Same for Anaconda. Both places were still active and producing at that time.

    We passed through there this past October (the first time in five decades for me) and made sure our doors were locked in some neighborhoods. It’s much worse now than what I remember.

    If the place could be cleaned up and the buildings restored, it’d be a really cool place to live. However, when the water in the Pit finally reaches the level of the local aquifer, it’ll probably be game over for Butte.

  2. We can only hope, desperately. that a turnaround will happen while those beautiful old buildings still hang on. Once they’re gone, it’s game over. No one will ever love those modern scrapheaps.

  3. I feel like Butte is a good investment long term. Montana is beautiful and gets more sunshine than the Pacific Northwest. Butte was bad ass in its heyday and that has left a nifty, gilded old core, which you’ve nicely shown. It’s also not that far from the natural wonders of Yellowstone and the Grant Tetons. I can see retirees and teleworkers moving there for the quality of life, mining sites be damned.

    Lovely post.

      1. That I don’t know. Has to be more than places in Arizona and New Mexico, and they’re growing, I would think. New Mexico has some serious water issues too.

  4. Yikes. I took a look at Butte on Google maps. The “Yankee Doodle tailings pond” (apt name) is gigantic. Lovely place to live.

    1. The giant hole in the ground is the Berkeley Pit which filled with water over the years. The overburden from the mines is visible from all over town – and outer space. I like the sculptural quality of the landscape. I’ve been to similar places like Rio Tinto in Utah. I enjoy exploring such places. If you have copper in your home wiring and plumbing it came from a place like this. If you have plastic it came from a refinery that’s equally toxic to the town it’s in. The entire mine complex in Butte is a Superfund site. That’s life. I quickly discovered that the people who live in the country club suburbs of Butte aren’t bothered by the mines at all. They live in Butte because of the high quality rural Montana lifestyle and the charming people. I’ll blog about the mine some other time.

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