Butte, Montana

County seat of Silver Bow County, Montana / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Butte (/bjuːt/ BYOOT) is a consolidated city-county and the county seat of Silver Bow County, Montana, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. The city covers 718 square miles (1,860 km2), and, according to the 2020 census, has a population of 34,494, making it Montana's fifth largest city. It is served by Bert Mooney Airport with airport code BTM.

Quick facts: Butte, Country, State, County, Settled...
Butte
Butte-Silver Bow
Clockwise, left to right: View of uptown Butte from west; Our Lady of the Rockies; Curtis Music Hall; aerial view of the Berkeley Pit; mine headframe; and the Finlen Hotel.
Nickname: 
Butte America
Motto: 
The Richest Hill on Earth
Map of Silver Bow County showing the city of Butte in red and Walkerville in grey
Coordinates: 45°59′56″N 112°31′27″W
CountryUnited States
StateMontana
CountySilver Bow
Settled1864
Area
  Total716.34 sq mi (1,855.32 km2)
  Land715.76 sq mi (1,853.80 km2)
  Water0.59 sq mi (1.52 km2)
Elevation5,538 ft (1,688 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total34,494
  Density48.19/sq mi (18.61/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code
59701, 59702, 59703, 59707, 59750
Area code406
FIPS code30-11397
GNIS feature ID2409651[2]
Websitehttps://www.co.silverbow.mt.us/
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Established in 1864 as a mining camp in the northern Rocky Mountains on the Continental Divide, Butte experienced rapid development in the late-nineteenth century, and was Montana's first major industrial city.[3] In its heyday between the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, it was one of the largest copper boomtowns in the American West. Employment opportunities in the mines attracted surges of Asian and European immigrants, particularly the Irish;[4] as of 2017, Butte has the largest population of Irish Americans per capita of any city in the United States.

Butte was also the site of various historical events involving its mining industry and active labor unions and socialist politics, the most famous of which was the labor riot of 1914. Despite the dominance of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Butte was never a company town. Other major events in the city's history include the 1917 Speculator Mine disaster, the largest hard rock mining disaster in world history.

Over the course of its history, Butte's mining and smelting operations generated in excess of $48 billion worth of ore, but also resulted in numerous environmental implications for the city: The upper Clark Fork River, with headwaters at Butte, is the largest Superfund site in the United States, and the city is also home to the Berkeley Pit. In the late-twentieth century, cleanup efforts from the EPA were instated, and the Butte Citizens Technical Environmental Committee was established in 1984. In the 21st century, efforts at interpreting and preserving Butte's heritage are addressing both the town's historical significance and the continuing importance of mining to its economy and culture. The city's Uptown Historic District, on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States, containing nearly 6,000 contributing properties. The city is also home to Montana Technological University, a public engineering and technical university.