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.



Sunday, December 11, 2011

A copper letter

This 1930s letter promoting Butte was given to Robert Renouard in Seattle, because of his close connection to Butte: Robert’s ancestor Edward I. Renouard became vice president of the Anaconda Company and lived in the Superintendent’s Home at the Mountain Con. The return address is A.H. Heilbronner Co., “originators of copper novelties,” 212-214 N. Main, Butte, and it was sent to Miss Donna Jean Varner of Minneapolis. The souvenir was mailed in October 1936 with 3 cents postage (normal first class rate a the time, but inflation-adjusted equivalent to 48.3 cents) and it was 3 cents postage due.

In the letter, note that Butte was “Nearly a mile deep,” and the misuse of “your” for “you’re” apparently isn’t quite the recent development that it sometimes seems.

Heilbronner’s 1-story store on N. Main is gone today; it stood where the Wells Fargo Bank’s drive-through is located, three doors south of the ACM pay office which still stands at the corner of Main and Quartz. There were two narrow stores in one more building between Heilbronner’s and the massive, ornate Beaver Block (Marchesseau and Valiton) that stood on the Granite Street corner where the bank is today. Adolph Heilbronner lived at 901 W. Quartz, in a small miner’s cottage that still occpies the northwest corner of Quartz and Excelsior. I suppose that Mr. Heilbronner walked past my house (at Quartz and Crystal) on his way to work.

Images courtesy Robert Renouard (click to enlarge)

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