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Remarkable Birdseye View of Butte, Montana -- Rare Variant

Rare birdseye view of Butte City, Montana, published circa 1890.

The view shows a number of smaller views around the larger view, including:

  • Centennial Brewery
  • Silver Bow National Bank - Marchesseau & Valiton Block
  • Butte & Boston Mine
  • Court House
  • Boston & Montana Mine
  • Great Northern R.R. Depot
  • Butte City Brewery
  • The Parrot Smelter
  • Moulton Mine & Mill
  • The Lexington Mine & Mill
  • Anaconda & St. Lawrence
  • Alice Mine & Mill
  • Colorado Smelter
  • The Blue Bird Mill & Mine

A key below the map names 6 Street Railroads and Electric Light Companies, 61 Mines, Mills, Reducting and Smelting Works, and 9 Railroad Depots, etc. The population is shown as 35,000 people, with a number of additions to the original town located on this view.

This is Henry Wellge's first view of Butte. A later view was published in 1904, by which time Butte had doubled in size to 60,000 residents. /gallery/detail/43717

The present view includes a legend at the top noting that it was given away "Compliments of Casey, Holland & Co. Real Estate Dealers and MIning Brokers, No. 27 West Granite Street. The other surviving examples of the map which we located (Huntington Library, Montana Historical Society, Butte Library) do not include the printed advertising legend. The firm of Casey, Holland & Co must have had a very short life, as the only mention we find of the firm is in 1890.

We note only a single example offered for sale (Midland--1960).

Butte History

Butte began as a mining town in the 1870s, in the Silver Bow Creek Valley. In 1879, the central business district burned to the ground and the town was thereafter reconstructed from the ground up, using brick and stone.

While initially only gold and silver were mined in the area, the advent of electricity created a massive demand for copper, which was abundant in the area. The resulting boom turned Butte into "the Richest Hill on Earth". Three men fought for control of Butte's mining wealth. These three "Copper Kings" were William A. Clark, Marcus Daly, and F. Augustus Heinze.

In 1899, Daly joined with William Rockefeller, Henry H. Rogers, and Thomas W. Lawson to organize the Amalgamated Copper Mining Company. Not long after, the company changed its name to Anaconda Copper Mining Company (ACM). Over the years, Anaconda was owned by assorted larger corporations. In the 1920s, it had a virtual monopoly over the mines in and around Butte.

Condition Description
Tear at top center, expertly repaired on verso. Never folded and generally in remarkable condition.