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!
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