Renowned Montana Town Nearly Named ‘Copperopolis’ by it’s Famous Founder
Nope, it's not Butte. But we discovered a pile of interesting historical markers that all originated in another important Montana town. When the town in question was to be platted, it's founder wanted to call it "Copperopolis".
What WOULD have been "Copperopolis" wasn't famous for copper so much as the incredibly important processing of the copper that came from Butte mines. It was June of 1883 when Marcus Daly filed for a town plat and wanted to use that name.
Turns out, that name was already used by another Montana town. (Considering how big copper mining was, can we be surprised? It's just odd that one of the Copper Kings didn't get to use the name first.)
That original Copperopolis, Montana is now a ghost town with only one cabin standing to this day. It's located halfway between White Sulphur Springs and Martinsdale and was founded around 1866. According to Wikipedia:
"Copperopolis served originally as a stage station. 1866 copper veins were discovered in the area north of the Castle Mountains and started attracting attention as a mining center.
Copperopolis developed into a family town. During the first nine months of operation a quarter of a million dollars was uncovered from the mines.
In 1901 copper export prices were cut in half. The mines were forced to close down in 1903 and the families moved away."
What town did Marcus Daly later found in 1883 that he wanted to call Copperopolis, Montana? Anaconda, Montana...now known more for it's golf, hunting, and other recreational pursuits, at the time was the most important link in the mining of copper.
Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park is a cool place to visit if you are a history buff. Although an 'old smoke stack' may not appear all that interesting, the historical facts surrounding Anaconda's copper processing are pretty impressive. That stack was built in 1918 and "the Anaconda Smelter Stack is the tallest surviving masonry structure in the world, with an overall height of about 585 feet".
If it's been a while since you've spent time in Anaconda, Montana, might I remind you how great Old Works is for a round of golf. It's Jack Nicklaus designed, with 18 holes, par 72 and 7,705 yardage. Treat yourself. Golfing in Anaconda is a real pleasure. Not to mention, downtown Anaconda is packed with funky old buildings. It's really lovely.