Rare Variant Edition
Rare variant of Baker & Harper's "Plat of the town site of the town of Butte, Deer Lodge County," published in 1876.
As noted at the bottom, the map was published by H.B. Stranahan & Co. Engravers of Cleveland, Ohio.
This is an original plat map of Butte City, Montana Territory. The map shows what was once a bustling business district in Butte that included saloons, cigar stores, billiard halls, breweries, brothels, Chinese laundries, etc.
Founded in 1879, Butte, "the Richest Hill on Earth", is located in Silver Bow County in southwest Montana. Although Butte was one of the largest producing copper districts in the world, its mining heritage can be traced to the discovery of gold in 1864. Prospectors had already found rich placers at Bannack and Alder Gulch 70 miles to the south and at Dry Gulch near the present day City of Helena. By 1868 the placers at Alder Gulch had produced about $30 million in gold. The gold at Butte, however, was short lived and yielded only about $1.5 million, but it was recognized early on that the source of placers were nearby. As the placers were exploited miners located lode deposits, of which the first to be staked was the Asteroid claim in 1864 on Butte Hill.
In 1865, a silver vein was discovered adjoining the Asteroid and was named the Travona. Shortly thereafter, numerous claims were located and Butte was transformed into the leading mining district of Montana Territory. Although metallurgical recovery of the ores proved difficult, miners drudged onward digging shafts to 150 feet and continuing assessment work on the claims which included the Parrott, Original, Gray Eagle and Mountain. Several years went by with little progress on recovering the refractory silver ores. In 1874 the Travona was re-located by William Farlin and in 1876 William Clark, a local banker, invested money into the Dexter 10-stamp mill, which turned a profit on the silver ore. This marked the beginning of Butte's successful episode into silver mining and by 1878, $900,000 was made on silver bullion. Silver mining peaked in 1887 with throughput from five mills.
Butte was often called "the Richest Hill on Earth". It was the largest city for many hundreds of miles in all directions. The city attracted workers from Cornwall (United Kingdom), Ireland, Wales, Lebanon, Canada, Finland, Austria, Serbia, Italy, China, Syria, Croatia, Montenegro, Mexico, and all areas of the U.S.
The map is very rare. We locate a variant edition of the map, with the title in the lower right, which is dated 1876.
The maps appear to be identical, other than the titles.