BUTTE — If you're going "Out and About" this weekend in southwest Montana, one suggestion for a stop is the World Museum of Mining in Butte.
The museum is located right behind the Montana Tech Campus in Butte.
Now, the museum is not about mining the world, but about the people from around the world, who impacted mining, right here in the Mining City.
"The World Museum of Mining, it's a big term and people often confuse it that we're trying to represent all of the world's mining," said World Mining Museum Executive Director Jeanette Kopf. "But actually what doing, the World Museum of Mining because of the number of people from across the world that came to Butte to mine. and so that's what we're preserving is that history with all the different cultures that came here and created Butte's culture."
"There were, there were no smoking signs at one point in 17 different languages representing many of the larger populations that were here but I don't think that represented all of the populations that were here either," said Kopf.
Visitors can tour the artifacts of mining collected at the museum and found around the grounds. Visitors can see and feel what it was like for those doing the work below the museum.
"We sit on the Orphan Girl Mine Yards which was once an operational mine," said Kopf. "There's an underground tour that you can take it takes you into the Orphan Girl mine (to) the 100-foot level station and you get a brief history of Butte mining and you get to see what it was like to be a miner."
Butte is called The Richest Hill on Earth and in its heyday produced much of the copper used in this country and around the world. Copper is still king and very much a part of life across the country and around the world.
"Copper is highly recyclable so a lot of people across the country still have a little bit in their pockets or in their homes as well," said Kopf. "So we're still producing some copper with the open pit mining that's going on today so yeah, we always like to say that 'Butte's everywhere.'"
The museum is open daily throughout the summer. Underground tours are available for anyone ages 5 and up. For an additional fee, by reservation.