"St. Patrick's day in Butte (like beautiful)" Top 5 Page for this destination Butte by EllenH

Butte Travel Guide: 44 reviews and 53 photos

Once called The Richest Hill on Earth, its location now serves as the beginning of the nation's largest Superfund area. 100,000 people called Butte home in its wild and crazy heyday. When the Irish immigrants arrived in New York to find no work, the word spread quickly to skip New York and head on out to Montana where work was plentiful. Copper mining....this is a mining town. Some of my "facts" come from talking with locals in the bar and talk they do. I do not know if it was because of being St. Patrick's day or if this town is always this friendly but I think this is one of the friendliest towns I have ever been to. One such fact is that even today, Butte has the highest Irish population per capita then any other U.S. city except Boston, MA. After WWI, the amount of copper was too much for the Industry to bare and Butte lost many of its 100,000 citizens.
Today it is a small city in Montana of 34,000 (college town, tech school) that absolutely comes alive on St.Patrick's day. The police are even friendly, as I was chatting with two just after midnight when St Urhos (finland made up holiday) ended and St. Patrick's day officially began. There were hundreds of people in the street intersection for the "painting of the shammrock" and the police told me the next night of St. Patrick's day, the whole town would look like that intersection with about 70,000 people invloved.
There is a great story about a dog that survived for 16 years in one of the most toxic places in the world. His name was "the auditor " and he was the mangiest looking mutt you will ever see, but he lived with the miners. In 1995 I think it was 168 snow geese landed in the pit never to fly out.

Friendly cops

Ok maybe it was because it was the eve, or just turned St. Patrick's day and they were gearing up for much worse....but these guys were NICE. I tend to avoid cops when I have a guinness in my hand, but this was all part of the fun.

Can't go anywhere without finding people you know

Nothing happens in our town for St. Patrick's Day but yet just 3 hours away is the biggest party I have ever seen (and this was the night before) I am thinking tradition here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Too much fun, friendly people
  • Cons:Other times of the year maybe boring, but steeped in history
  • In a nutshell:You will see me there in March!
  • Last visit to Butte: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Feb 21, 2011
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Reviews (8)

Comments (17)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2009 at 2:42 AM

    Just love those old mining towns. Thanks for the intro. Birthday wishes from New Jersey.

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    We're coming through Butte on way east and had not planned on more than a stop for gas and food. Guess we will spend a night or two there now. thanks

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    Sounds like a happening place Ellen :o) ....for a town with such an unusual name :o) Enjoyed the read! Cheers, Ann :o)

  • Jun 18, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Ellen~ Just returned from Butte... maloney's was the Friday night entertainment and the new and quite good Butte activity.... the Copper King Express train from Butte to Anaconda.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2006 at 4:19 PM

    What a great time to be in Butte. Love the Ghost Signs [so glad they did not paint over them]. Also found the St. Urho's Day to be fascinating.

  • raytor's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2006 at 11:08 PM

    Hola amiga

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2006 at 7:11 AM

    Nice job Ellen!! I've been to Butte, but it was many years ago and you've made me want to go again!!

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2006 at 8:35 AM

    A mine disaster, fake patron saint and ghost signs - all very interesting stuff. I was in Butte twice - long ago. Would love to see it again.

  • funnybeee's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2006 at 11:24 AM

    Thank you Ellen!! I am going to cry like a baby when I see my mommy again :) Byeeeee! Beee :)

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2006 at 3:30 AM

    an interesting page, thanks for sharing !

EllenH

“Have Westfalia, will travel (but planes are good also)”

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