NewsLocal News


Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives director retiring after 31 years

Archives Butte
ellen crain.jpg
Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 10:13:16-04

BUTTE — Ellen Crain is bidding farewell to the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives.

"I want to enjoy a little bit of R&R and I’m gonna have the first summer I’ve had off in 56 years," said Crain.

Crain first started out in the medical field but went back to college at Montana Technological University. There, she fell in love with historical research when doing research for environmental companies.

"I loved it. I got very passionate about it and so I was reading the paper one Sunday morning and the archives director position was in the want ads, and I thought, ‘Oh, I want that job,’" said Crain.

She says that the best part about her job was the people she met.

A story Crain loved to tell was when two women came into the archives to do separate research. One woman was investigating why an ancestor of hers had to leave the police force. Another woman was researching her ancestor that had been shot and, eventually, they both came to the same document and realized the police officer had shot the ancestor.

"It was tense and it was interesting. They both came into my office and said it was the fault of the other person," said Crain.

Crain says she’ll miss the little magical moments of different people making their way into the building and finding each other.

"It’s been a privilege to serve the people of Butte and it does our heart good when they come in here and utilize this building. I want to thank them," she said.

There will be a retirement party on Friday, April 1, from 2- 4 p.m. at the Archives. The public is welcome to join.