Mining City Messages

Butte LOVES its history.

archiveslogoAnyone who writes about Butte will tell you that the Butte Archives is an inspiration. As official keeper of all the records and the stories in this town, the Archives reflects the rich appreciation our citizens have for their history. After all, what other town of 35,000 people has its own archive and passed a bond to build a state of the art facility?


And now to spread the Archives' fame farther and wider, there's an online searchable database website.  I'm partial to the Cornoner's Reports myself.

Local Bookstore now has Website

  Second Edition Books in Butte has an extensive collection of books about Montana, which I like to root through every now and again. The store is also a 'must visit' for anyone looking for early editions in hardcopy, a commodity that will become more valuable as the digital revolution cuts into traditional publishing. And now you can find Second Edition on the web.


2nd edition

A letter from 'ome

    For a Cornish miner deep within the earth, a warm lunch was, no doubt, as welcome as a letter from home. And truth to tell, Deadly Reckoning features a scene in which pasties are being salivated over. Who could write a book (even a mystery) set in Butte without including them;ubiquitous as they are in every day life here?


You know you're talking to an out of towner if the delicacy is pronounced pasteTY and not PASSty. For all the details about the history of this culinary delight, here's a full page article by an Associated Press reporter. (Meanwhile, everyone in town is saying, duh - who doesn't know what and where pasties come from?)

You Never Know What You'll Dig up in Butte

The historic part of Butte is built on the side of a mountain, the original housing within a few feet of the entrances to the many mines that dotted the 'richest hill on earth.'  When the commerical center of town developed at the turn of the 20th century, many buildings had lower level entrances. Decades passed and sidewalks were laid right next to the building and these lower entrances were hidden. 

underground storefront

Prigge building

Read more: You Never Know What You'll Dig up in Butte

Here kitty, kitty -NOT!

Once you move out west, you soon learn to remember that the animals were here first. However, when the mountain lion is meandering through a neighborhood less than 4 miles from your house, it does remind you to close the door to the deck at night.  Don't want any hungry cats coming in to lick the dirty dishes. Read about the big cat who came to town yesterday right here.

We're tough as nails!

When writing about the west, Butte in particular, it's wise to avoid becoming sentimental. "Just the facts, ma'm." After all, everyone around here has known hard times and has had to get past them. Butte folks pride themselves on the Mining City's ability to survive, and not complain.


The English poet, R.H. Blyth, knew the dangers of sentimentality in poetry. He wrote, and I'm paraphasing here, that we are being sentimental when we give to a thing more tenderness than God gives to it. Emotions are acceptable, but let's not go over the top.


That said, I challenge anyone to read the story of Butte's canine legend, the Auditor, to see if you can avoid the temptations of sentimentality at Montana Moments

Lucky plane crash

Plane crashes figure mightily in Deadly Reckoning, the first novel in Mining City Mysteries. Crash landing in the mountains (east of Yellowstone Park)  and walking away from it is miraculous enough. Then you have to find your way back to civilization from a desolate area (Shoshone National Forest). And then there's the weather. A young Montana pilot gives a vivid description of her recent, disasterous flight. Maybe it was the spirit of Amelia Earhart, who had planned to build a cabin nearby, that made the difference.

Earhart monument 640x480


Find the news story about the crash here 

Marian at the Butte Archives



made in montana

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