Filed Under Mining History

Original Mine

1864-1940, 3900 Feet Deep

The Original Mine was the site of some of the earliest mining in Butte.

The Original Mine, a good producer of copper and silver, was the site of some of the earliest mining in Butte. Early pioneers found small pits dug by early prospectors, possibly native Americans, with elk horn near the site of the Original Mine. William Clark patented Lot #39 in 1878, launching the Original Mine, and two years later, Granville Stuart patented claims for two more lots. The shaft was driven to the 1,000-foot level by 1897 with 20 men working underground, six top men, and three hoist engineers. By 1902, the mine employed 300 men working underground, twenty top men, and three engineers. Clark sold the mine to the Anaconda Company in 1910, and it operated until 1940. The Original was re-opened in the 1950s, when it was mined for zinc and copper.

The existing structures were built in 1898. They include a brick hoist house, a compressor house, and the headframe. Today the Original headframe serves as the mainstage for the Montana Folk Festival, as well as a venue for weddings and other events.

Images

Original Mine
Original Mine View of the Original Mine headframe and ore bins. This is a vertical photo. Click on the title to view the full image. Source: World Museum of Mining
Post Card of Original Mine
Post Card of Original Mine View of the Original mineyard. The post card was mailed in 1910. Source: mindat.org Date: Circa 1910
Color View of Original Mine
Color View of Original Mine View of the Original Mine headframe and ore bins. Source: Library of Congress Creator: Jet Lowe, Historic American Engineering Record Date: 1980
Loading Horse-Drawn Wagon at the Original Mine
Loading Horse-Drawn Wagon at the Original Mine This is a vertical photo. Click the title to view the full image. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: C. Owen Smithers
1916 Sanborn Map of Original Mine Location
1916 Sanborn Map of Original Mine Location Sanborn map showing the location of the Original Mine and mineyard buildings, at the southwest corner of N. Main and W. Woolman Streets. This is a vertical photo. Click the title to view the full image. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: The Sanborn Map Company Date: 1916
View of Original Mine Looking Northeast
View of Original Mine Looking Northeast View of the Original Mine looking up the Butte hill, with other mines visible in the background. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: C. Owen Smithers

Location

North Main Street

Metadata

Story of Butte
Contributors: Nancy Woodruff, Paddy Dennehy, “Original Mine,” Story of Butte, accessed June 22, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/3392.