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Signs of Butte

21 Signs of Butte

Often in my travels I wish I could see a destination as it was years before I’ve gotten there — that I had access to H.G. Wells’ Time Machine so I could select exactly when to drop into a city or town.  In the case of Butte, Montana, I would set that Time Machine for circa 1900.  What a grand city I’d find when I arrived!  One of the largest, most developed new cities of the American West, with beautiful lavish hotels, elegant restaurants, theaters and other attractions, Butte was the place to be!  Funded by the wealth harvested from the mines of the “Richest Hill on Earth”, Butte was booming.

Jump forward a century and what you find is quite different.  Most of the mines have closed and there’s much less money around today.  The city ticks along, but it’s hardly booming.  Still you find some remnants of Butte’s glorious past.  The billboards painted on the  sides of buildings are peeling and faded, but that’s also part of the town’s charm.  There’s vintage architecture, friendly people and a colorful past that draw visitors in.  Some of this you’ll see reflected in the towns’ signs.

As many of you know, I collect photos of signs the way some people collect stamps, refrigerator magnets and souvenir spoons.  Butte had some fine signs which I hope you enjoy!

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)


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2 Responses to Signs of Butte

  1. Mari Malarky Musante says:

    I love the old signs, or newer ones that focus on the former history of a city or town. Thank you for
    sharing these. My father, long deceased, was born and raised in Butte, but WWII brought hims to CA to
    work at Hunter’s Point in San Francisco building Liberty Ships, so I am a Californian.
    But I get to Montana fairly regularly and it is a real treat to see this collection! My Mother was from
    Missoula, another very nice City, which a pretty University. The large State of MT has much less population
    than Calif. and the wide open spaces and lack of traffic, along with the natural beauty make it a wonderful
    place to go visit.

    • DrFumblefinger says:

      Hi Mari, and thanks for your nice comment. I love signage, especially the old original signs from western towns. Butte is terrific for that!

      I’ve visited Missoula a number of times and it is a beautiful small city, especially enjoy the Smokejumper’s Museum there.