Lost Butte, Montana, a book by Richard I. Gibson, is in stores and museum gift shops around Butte. Or order from the publisher. It's also in E-book formats at all the usual places. And read an interview with Gibson, here, and on KXLF here. The Facebook page has many historic photos of Butte, and the Butte-Anaconda NHLD project showcases many historic buildings. Location-oriented posts can be found on HistoryPin. On Mondays beginning in January 2016, look for Gibson's "Mining City History" column in the Montana Standard.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas in Butte, 1911 – #3

by Richard I. Gibson

It’s no stretch to say that what was available in New York and Chicago was available in Butte’s stores and shops. From silk stockings (6 pairs, $6.00 at Hennessey’s) to cashmere mufflers (50¢ to $1.00 at Wein’s Clothing Store, 33-35-37 East Park, the Owsley Block-Medical Arts building that burned in 1973), to state-of-the-art electrical appliances, Butte had it all. The Butte Business College, in the Owsley Block, even promoted their courses as an appropriate Christmas gift.

“Old Santa carries nothing but Butte made hats,” the Hat Box boasted. In 1911 they were at 10-12 North Wyoming, but in 1917 they moved to the alley behind the Clinton Drug Store at 106 North Main, and eventually in the 1950s the Hat Box occupied the Drug Store’s space briefly before going out of business in 1957.

For seamstresses doing their own work, 36-inch-wide all-silk black taffeta ran 98¢ a yard from Hennessey’s. Gamer’s Shoe Store, at 113 N. Main, offered “footwear for men, women, boys, girls, misses, the children, and the baby—we never forget the baby.” Gamer’s in 1911 employed 15-year-old Richard Liljemark as a messenger; he became a clerk there within a few years. Richard died in 1917 at age 21 after a two-week bout with pneumonia, and you can hear more of his story and see his name, inscribed in the basement of Gamer’s Shoe Store in 1911, on the Dellinger Block tour with Old Butte Historical Adventures.

Butte Miner, December 1911

1 comment:

  1. Dick, I love this "History Stuff"
    Keep it coming!!! Congrats on the book!