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Butte, Montana
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    (1864- )
    Fifth largest city in Montana
    Seat of Silver Bow County
    Population (2017 estimate): 33,901
    In its early days as a copper boomtown, it had a reputation as a place where every vice could be indulged.
    It was a site of repeated labor unrest, with the National Guard occupying the city six times to restore order (1914-20).
    In one of the worst mining disasters in American history, 168 men were killed by a fire in the Speculator Mine (June 8, 1917).
    Mines and smelters contaminated the groundwater and soil with arsenic, lead, cadmium and zinc.
    In the 1990s, its tap water was unsafe to drink due to poor filtration and aging supply pipes.
    Its winters tend to be long and cold.
    It was the first major industrial city in Montana.
    It was the largest producer of copper in North America.
    In the early 20th century, it was the largest city west of Chicago and east of San Francisco.
    It has the largest per capita Irish-American population of any US city.
    The National Trust for Historic Preservation included it on their 'Dozen DIstinctive Destinations' list (2002).

Credit: C. Fishel

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