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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Butte, 1911 – #7

by Richard I. Gibson

Newspaper delivery people have long been independent entrepreneurs, and Butte’s newsies were no exception. For Dec. 24, 1911, the Butte Miner gave its Christmas Eve edition to the “little fellows” at no charge as a Christmas bonus. Each delivery boy probably made 5¢ on each paper sold that day, instead of his usual 2½¢. That was a fairly big deal in an era when 50¢ bought a nice meal at a boarding house.

Skates and other sporting equipment were hot items for Christmas 1911. The Montana Hardware Company’s sporting goods department offered men’s skates at prices from 75¢ a pair to $5.00 for “American club hockey, hardened full nickel” skates. You could get a baseball for 5¢. Montana Hardware, initially run by W.A. Clark’s brother J. Ross, was at 30-40 West Park in 1911, the 3-story Pennsylvania Building that stood just west of where the F&W Grand Building is today (the Military Recruiting Building, which dates to the 1930s).

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