In its heyday between the late 19th and early 20th Century, Butte was one of the largest (and most notorious) cities between Chicago and San Francisco. The world depended on Butte’s seemingly endless vein of copper. Workers from all over the globe flooded in, making it as diverse in ethnicities as New York City, at the height of its population. Irish immigrants were especially drawn to Butte—largely because Irish-born Marcus Daly, the owner of the Anaconda Copper Mine and smelter, heavily advertised the fact that he needed workers in Irish newspapers.
Compared to its heyday, little copper is mined there and the population has dwindled to around 34,000—making it Montana’s fifth largest city—but its Irish heritage still prevails. Its St. Patrick’s Day celebration draws a crowd from all over the West. It’s a fun day—kicking off with one of the largest parades in the state—followed by all sorts of culinary and cultural events…as well as a raucous party.
For more information on today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade click here.