Butte was at its peak 100 years ago. According to the 1917 Butte City Directory, a conservative estimate of the town’s population was 91,000.
To accommodate its growing population, there were 23 public grade schools and eight Catholic grade schools. Butte also boasted three daily newspapers — the Anaconda Standard, Butte Miner and the Butte Daily Post.
Houses of worship stood at 42, and, surprise, surprise — the number of drinking establishments hovered near 240.
It was also brimming with mines and deservedly earned the nickname, the Mining City. To be exact, there were 102 mines. Many of the mines’ names are pretty self-explanatory, including Blue Jay, Fraction, Moonlight and Pacific. Names of other mines are definitely unique.
For instance, the Gambrinus was so named after a fictional King Gambrinus, “the patron saint of beer.” Whoever named the Altoona Mine must have, at one time or another, lived in Pennsylvania. Altoona is a city located near Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains.
The Tuolumne Mine probably got its start thanks to a Californian, as the mine shares the same name as one of California’s earliest counties. The Rarus Mine may have been named after a Greek god, but the more likely reason is it’s the Latin translation for rare.
Below is a complete list of Butte’s mines from 100 years ago:
A -- Adams shaft, Alex Scott, Alice, Alliance, Altoona, Amy Silversmith, Anaconda, Anselmo, Artic, Atlantic shaft
B -- Balaklava, Bell, Belle of Butte, Bellona, Belmont, Berkeley, Black Rock, Blue Jay, Bonanza, Brittania, Buffalo, Bullwhacker, Butte-Duluth, Butte Hill, Butte & Bacorn, Butte & London, Butte Main Range, Butte & Great Falls, Butte & Milwaukee
C – Clear Grit, Colorado, Colusa-Leonard, Corra
D – Diamond, Dutton
E – East Colusa, East Gray Rock, Ella, Elm Orlu, Emma
F – Flat Iron, Fraction
G – Gagnon, Gambrinus Claim, Gem, Goldsmith, Granite Mountain, Gray Rock, Green Leaf, Green Mountain
H -- High Ore, High Ore Drain Tunnel
J – JJC, Jesse
L – Leonard, Lexington, Little Minah
M -- Marconi, Minnie Healy, Modoc, Monitor, Montgomery, Moonlight, Moose, Moulton, Mountain Consolidated (Mountain Con), Mountain View
N – Neversweat, North Butte Extension, Northwest Tunnel
O – Ophir, Original
P – Pacific, Parrot, Pennsylvania, Pilot Butte, Pittsmont, Pittsmont No. 2, Poser, Poulin, Preferencia
R -- Rainbow, Rarus, Raven, Right Bower
S – St. Lawrence, Salvador, Silver Bow, Silver Bow No. 3, Silver King, Silversmith, Speculator, Star West, Steward
T – Ticon, Tramway, Travonia, Tropic, Tuolumne
W – West Colusa, West Gray Rock