Best Historical Sites In Butte, Montana
Updated: Jul 14
Butte is one of the state's most historically notable cities and the rich history of the town is freely on display. With more than 6,000 significant cultural sites, the entire town is classified as a National Historic Landmark District. Several museums, tours, and landmarks provide easy immersion into the remarkable past. Dive into the town's history with the best historical sites to see in Butte, Montana.
Copper King Mansion
219 W Granite St, Butte, MT 59701
Constructed for one of the Butte's copper mining principal developers, William A. Clark, the Copper King Mansion was built from 1884 to 1888. The Mansion was the first state historic place in Montana and is registered on the National Historic Register.
Travel back in time and live through Victorian elegance in the stunning 34-room brick establishment with frescoed ceilings, lavish antique furnishings, stained glass windows, and hand-carved woodwork. The Elizabethan-style manor includes a library, a chapel, a billiard room, and a 64 feet ballroom. Moreover, most of the rooms display customized and hand-carved mantelpieces which come from a distinct wood and are designed by European craftsmen specifically for the Copper King Mansion. The Mansion offers tours and Bed and Breakfast for overnight guests and daily visitors.
Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand, Butte, MT 59701
Founded in 1995, the Berkley Pit was a massive open-pit copper mine that was truck-operated until mining ended in 1982. Almost 1.5 billion tons of substance had been produced from the Pit by 1980 including over 290 million tons of copper ore which gained the town the title "The Richest Hill on Earth". To build the pit, land purchases consumed the previously congested East Side of Butte and two communities. The pit is 5,600 feet wide, 1,600 feet deep, and 7,000 feet long from the north side's high wall just under the Kelly mine. Berkley Pit visitors and tourists can view the mine by the platform situated above it.
Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse
155 W Granite St, Butte, MT 59701
Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse was constructed in 1911. The rotunda walls are embellished with personified muses' golden mosaic murals; Geography, Philosophy, Justice, History and murals of Presidents McKinley, Wilson, Washington, and Lincoln. The Montana-quarried Travertine's massive pillars draw the eye to the top towards the stained-glass dome and mosaics. The magnificent 28 inches in diameter and 1,500 pounds stained-glass dome above the rotunda was restored in 2015.
World Museum of Mining
155 Museum Way, Butte, MT 59701
The World Museum of Mining, located on the Orphan Girl Mine, is one of the world's few museums situated on a genuine mine yard. The "Girl" is the museum's centerpiece and is evident by a steel headframe measuring 100 feet high. The museum's visitors can taste, feel, and see life in the mining camp by exploring the deepest part of the Orphan Girl Mine via the Underground Mine Tour. The museum also includes hundreds of artifacts and unique displays such as the Union Hall, the Sauerkraut Factory, the Chinese Laundry, First National Bank, the one-room schoolhouse, the Saloon and General Store, Remembering Garden, Miners Memorial Wall, Dollhouse Collection, and Photo Archives.
1300 W Park St, Butte, MT 59701
Mineral Museum displays more than 1,300 specimens and exhibits particularly devoted to Montana and Butte minerals and the mining history of the area. The collection includes a 27-ounce gold nugget discovered in the Highland Mountains in 1989 and a smoky quartz crystal that weighs 400 pounds. The rich mining history of Butte is exhibited by an impressive display of fine-quality mineral samples from the underground mines. Aside from that, the museum also features the seismic history of the area.
Granite Mountain Memorial Overlook
Alexander St, Butte, MT 59701
On June 8, 1917, the greatest loss of life in the history of hard rock mining happened in Butte when 168 people died in the disastrous Speculator Fire Disaster. A memorable panoramic view of the remnants of the formerly prosperous mining industry, the Continental Drive, and the 10,000-foot Highland Mountains. Interpretative plaques narrate the story of the turbulent times, people, and events that encompasses this tragic episode. A trailhead of the Butte trail system is located just to the west and south of the site of Granite Mountain Memorial. This trail links the trail of the Top of the World down to a restored historic mine site, the Mountain Con Park.