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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Gas station, summer 1939

This photo from the FSA-OWI program was made by Arthur Rothstein in the summer of 1939. The location is the corner of Park and Oklahoma – the gas station is at 501 East Park Street.  The mine in center background is the Moonlight Mine, and right of it on the skyline is the Anaconda Mine.

The vertical standpipe right of center says “steam baths” in vertical letters. It is behind (south of) a building on Broadway Street that contained a sauna – that was within Finntown.

The gas station building was boarded up and vacant by 1951, and was probably gone by about 1960. There is no listing in the city directories for “Consumers Oil Company” so it was either a short-lived business or came under some other name for listing purposes.

—Richard I. Gibson

“The photographs of the Farm Security Administration (FSA)-Office of War Information (OWI), transferred to the Library of Congress beginning in 1944, form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed by Roy E. Stryker, formerly an economics instructor at Columbia University, and engaged such photographers as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, John Vachon, and Carl Mydans. The project initially documented the Resettlement Administration's cash loans to individual farmers, and the agency's construction of planned suburban communities. The second stage focused on the lives of sharecroppers in the South and of migratory agricultural workers in the midwestern and western states. As the scope of the project expanded, the photographers turned to recording rural and urban conditions throughout the United States and mobilization efforts for World War II.” (From the Library of Congress web site.)