Situated in the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Montana, sits Butte, the county seat of Silver Bow County, which is now combined and known as Butte-Silver Bow, as one entity. The population of what was once a mining boomtown is about 36,000 and is Montana’s first industrial city. Butte continues to address the importance and historical aspects of its heyday in mining of gold, silver, and copper, and has preserved it’s historic district with close to 6,000 properties, one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. The town offers many outdoor activities, along with the opportunity to go to the top of the Continental Divide or 100 feet underground to experience the world of mining. Montana Tech, a large engineering and technical school with about 2,500 students, makes Butte a college town. Photo of Uptown Butte, 2006 courtesy of Wikipedia and WikiCapa (public domain); photo of Entrance of Montana Tech. statue of Marcus Daly by Augustus Saint-Gaudens sits at the entrance courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain); photo of Berkeley Pit and Yankee Doodle tailings pond courtesy of Wikipedia and NASA (public domain).
Watch this short Youtube video presented by Butte Local Development Corporation:
Where to Retire in Butte and Home Prices
Butte is made up of several neighborhoods. The uptown section, named after the steep streets, is located on a hillside and reflects the wealth of the city's mining history with beautiful Victorian homes and Queen Anne style cottages that were built in the late 19th century. The South district is below the hillside, where the gold mines were located and was home to the working class. Zillow reports the median home value in Butte was $146,892 in early 2020, well below the national average. In 2017, HGTV produced a pilot titled Butteification in which a couple restored a Victorian home.
What Is Special about Butte
Butte has beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and a very interesting history in mining with many sites on the National Register of Historic Places. It also offers a lot of outdoor recreation in both summer and winter. The city has been recognized as an All-America City and one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
What Is Not Special about Butte
Winters are long and bitter cold. Butte is a bit isolated with the nearest nearest large city (Boise, Idaho) about 240 miles away.
Who Will Like Retirement in Butte
Butte is for those who enjoy the outdoors, but the city also offers an interesting history in mining with museums and historical sites, performing arts, public transportation, a library, health care facilities, and a regional airport. Those who don't like humidity would enjoy Butte, never hot and humid here, with the humidity level at 0%. May be a good choice for those who are snowbirds and can leave during the winter months.
Local Economy Is Driven by
St. James Healthcare is a major employer as it Northwestern Energy as it is headquartered here. Butte has deep roots in technology which is also an economic driver.
Climate and Physical Environment
Butte sits at an elevation of 5,538 feet above sea level and has large swings in daily temperatures. The average January temperature is 18 degrees with July's average only at 63 degrees.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
There are lots of choices of restaurants, pubs, and cafes here both franchise types and family owned. Culturally, Boise colorful history in mining is told in it's museums, restored business district and stately Victorian mansions. Butte offers access to thousands of acres of wilderness and mountain views, but it is also home to The World Museum of Mining built on a mine and has re-created a mining camp. The Copper King Mansion, a 34-room residence of W.A. Clark, which is now a bed and breakfast. Butte is also home the Clark Chateau which houses the Butte symphony orchestra, along with featuring programs, classes, and exhibits. SNoFlinga is a winter festival of outdoor activities including ice skating, skiing and sledding. Summer activities include art walks and farmers markets.
The crime rate in Butte is above the national average.
St.James Healthcare is the regional medical facility.
Butte has a public bus system, a small airport that is serviced by Delta Airlines, and is bike friendly. The closest regional airport is in Helena, about 70 miles away, and the nearest International airport is over 400 miles in Salt Lake City.
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