The World Museum Of Mining was started
in 1963 by Butte people who wanted to preserve the city's historic
mining tradition. The museum and village were built entirely
with volunteer labor and donations.
- The World Museum of Mining rests on land
once occupied by the Orphan Girl Mine, and is therefore heir
to that operation's authentic 100 foot steel headframe, or 'gallows
- The headframe, along with the Nordberg
double drum hoist in the remaining engine house, allowed miners
and their tools to be lowered into the 3,200 foot mine shaft
in search of ore. Silver and zinc were the
main ores extracted from the Orphan Girl, although the sight
overlooks the area of the 1864 gold strike. Many
of the tools and equipment used in underground mining can be
viewed at the museum. Once an active
underground mine, the Orphan Girl is now the site of the 23-acre
World Museum of Mining.
Roarin' Gulch, an authentic reproduction of an 1890's mining
camp, offers a bank, funeral parlor, jail, post office, city
hall, union hall, school, church and chinese laundry. These are
only a few of the more than 35 buildings you can visit. All are
carefully arranged with authentic antiques from early Butte.
- The World Museum also offers The
Orphan Girl Express, a three car train pulled by a 1911
underground trammer engine.The 20-minute train ride takes patrons
around the perimiter of the museum grounds, pointing out historical
features.The little train runs every half hour from 10:00 AM
to 5 PM, seven days a week through August.
- The World Museum of Mining 's photo archives
has one of the largest collections of Butte pictures in the world.
The pictures are now available to the public to view and purchase.
The black and white prints available are of people, places, mines,
buildings, and events of Butte's past.
- During the past 25 years, a small group
of volunteers have catalogued and copied more than 6,000 photographs
that have been donated to the World Museum of Mining. Researchers,
writers, and organizations have used these photos to tell the
story of Butte's rich heritage.
- Most of the archive's photographs can
be purchased. For more details visit the
- web site of the World Museum of Mining