The Butte area is home to many year round and seasonal attractions. Butte is known for its summer festivals and as the half way point between Glacier and Yellowstone Parks
Our Lady of the Rockies
This 90-foot statue sits on top of the Continental Divide (elevation over 8,000 feet), which overlooks Butte. Bob O’Bill and his wife were informed that she was diagnosed with cancer. Being devoted Catholics, the couple placed their trust in God and His Blessed Mother. The husband had made a promise to Our Lady that if his wife was cured of this illness, he would build a 5-foot statue that would sit in their lawn. Once the wife was cured, Bob and other workers began the project. Later, the men envisioned this project to be turned into a mountain top statue. During these times, Butte was at an all-time low with men being laid off from mining. The project turned into a community event, where people donated their time, money and materials. Our Lady of the Rockies was finished in 1985 with the National Guard lifting 4 parts of the statue to the mountain. Visitors are able to take a roundtrip bus tour from June until September.
World Mining Museum
The World Museum of Mining is located in Butte, Montana. The purpose of the museum is to preserve a segment of American history which has heretofore been neglected. Chartered in 1964 as a non-profit educational corporation, the Museum first opened its doors in July 1965. The site, an inactive silver and zinc mine named the Orphan Girl, includes some 22 acres of land.
Granite Mountain Memorial
Known as the worst disaster in mining history, this memorial is for the men who lost their lives in the fire explosion on June 8, 1917. This mine produced copper which played a role in winning World War I. The memorial today has memorial stones depicting the names who lost their lives. Families of the miners are able to memorialize deceased loved ones with a stone in their honor. The site also provides audio that plays music, historical information and voices of the surviving miners and their stories.
This once-known copper mine was a valuable resource for tons of copper ore, silver, gold and other metals that were extracted from the soil. This is where Butte was claimed as the “Richest Hill on Earth.” As the mine expanded, water began to seep into the pit and slowly begin to fill. At first, water pumps were installed to control flooding, but profits decreased so the pumps had to be removed. Without the control of the flooding, rain and groundwater began to flood the pit even more, which created a toxic mixture of metal poisons such as arsenic, lead and zinc. No sealife or plant life will ever live here. The Berkeley Pit Visitor Center is open March to November.