From the stately Queen Anne mansions of the West Side to the hastily constructed shanties of Cabbage Patch, Lost Butte, Montana, traces the city’s history through its architectural heritage. The book includes such highlights as the Grand Opera House, once graced by entertainers and cultural icons like Charlie Chaplin, Sarah Bernhardt and Mark Twain; the infamous brothels protested by reformer Carrie Nation, wielding her hatchet and sharp tongue; and the Columbia Gardens, built by copper king William Clark as a respite from the smoke and toil of the mines and later destroyed by fire. Through the stories of these structures, lost to the march of time and urban renewal, historian Richard Gibson recalls the boom and bust of Butte, once a mining metropolis and now part of the largest National Historic Landmark District.
Region Your Book Covers: Butte, Montana
What Inspired You to Write History Books?
Incredibly rich history in Butte, where I live.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Writing About US History Must Be Difficult, How Do You Do Your Reseach?
The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, the World Museum of Mining, and the Butte Public Library are incredible resources with helpful people. And I have several colleagues, fellow tour guides – we all share what we discover and lead each other into additional research.
Richard I. Gibson is a geologist, historian, and tour guide in Butte, Montana. He’s served on the local Historic Preservation Commission, as Education Director at the World Museum of Mining, and as secretary of Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization. He also serves on the Mai Wah Chinese Museum board and wrote the guide to the Mai Wah Archaeological Dig Exhibit. Gibson edited the guidebook for the 2009 Vernacular Architecture Forum in Butte and wrote most of the Butte section and two essays. He is the author of Lost Butte, Montana, the science book What Things Are Made Of, and the Butte History blog http://buttehistory.blogspot.com/.