The World Museum of Mining in Butte, MT was founded in 1963 when the close of Butte’s mining heyday was less than two decades away. In the end, Butte experienced a century of hard rock mining and earned the reputation of being home to one of the world’s most productive copper mines of all times. The museum exists to preserve the enduring history of Butte and the legacy of its rich mining and cultural heritage.
The World Museum of Mining is one of the few museums in the world located on an actual mine yard – the Orphan Girl Mine. The "Girl" is the centerpiece of the Museum and is marked by a 100 foot high steel headframe. Once mined to a depth of 3200 feet, she produced silver, lead and zinc from 1875 until 1956. Visitors to the museum are able to see, feel and taste life in this mining camp by touring the massive steel headframe and venturing into the depths of the Orphan Girl Mine on an Underground Mine Tour. An experience so realistic, you can almost see their blackened faces and hear their exhausted sighs at the conclusion of the workday.
Strolling through the brick lined streets of Hell Roarin’ Gulch provides insight into the lives of the thousands of immigrants that flocked to Butte for work. Be amazed at the unique displays including the Chinese Laundry, the Sauerkraut Factory, First National Bank, the Union Hall and of course, the one room schoolhouse, the General Store and Saloon, which all contain hundreds of artifacts from the turn of the century.
Additional Exhibits at the museum include:
Miners Memorial Wall & Remembering Garden, dedicated to over 2,500 men that lost their lives in the underground mines of Butte.
Roy Garret Rock & Mineral Collection, containing over 1,600 specimens plus a dark room.
Samie Keith Doll & Dollhouse Collection, a lifetime fascination for collecting.
Photo Archives, open by appointment for research or to purchase photos.