The Lexington Mine is the site of the only remaining strike fence at Butte mines.

This mine, sold by is initial owner for a team of white horses according to a popular albeit unsubstantiated story, eventually produced millions of dollars’ worth of silver and zinc. Like most of the other mines on the hill, the “Lex” was originally a shallow, open mine or glory hole. As larger amounts of material were removed, a wooden gallus fame was erected to handle the increased load of men and ore. Eventually, it was replaced with a steel headframe transplanted from the Adams mine yard.

The Lexington lies within the city limits of Walkerville, Butte’s northern neighbor. While the separation between the two cities is hardly discernible, Walkerville taxes on ore were high, while in Butte they were low. Dynamite solved the problem. A tunnel was blasted from the Lexington down to the vicinity of the Anselmo Mine, and ore was removed through the “Butte exit.”

Labor disputes in Butte often erupted into violence. The Lexington Strike Fence along Main Street, topped by electrified barbed wire, is the only surviving fence in Butte erected as protection for “scabs” who crossed picket lines to work inside the fence’s protection. The spotlight on top of the headframe combed the surrounding terrain from dusk until dawn during strikes to foil attempts at sabotage against the company.


Lexington Mine, Looking South View of the Lexington Mine, with St. Lawrence O'Toole Church and the Butte valley in the background. Source: World Museum of Mining
View of the Lexington Mine and Walkerville, 1897 A "photo-imitation" engraving showing the Lexington mine and surrounding area. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: B.E. Calkins Date: 1897
Lexington Mine Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: C. Owen Smithers


1402 N Main Street | No public access


Story of Butte
Contributors: Nancy Woodruff, Butte Historical Society, Richard Gibson, “Lexington Mine,” Story of Butte, accessed June 6, 2023,