Back in its copper mining heyday, Butte's population peaked at 100,000, with pioneers migrating by the droves, hoping to lay claim to the region's abundant material riches. Rimmed by the Rocky Mountains and nestled on the Continental Divide—within a 2-hour's drive of Yellowstone National Park—the Butte of today is smaller and geared more toward a festival-and-tourism-based economy. But it retains the ethnic diversity of its original settlers and their architectural tastes; you'll find hundreds of historic homes in a range of sizes and styles.The Houses
The local architecture catalogs two building booms that took place in the 1880s and 1910s to accommodate the influx of miners. Tiny cottages and simple shotguns mingle with grand Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate mansions. The average price of homes here is $116,000, though fixer-uppers can be found for substantially less.Why Buy Now?
If you're looking to buy and renovate an old home, you won't be tackling it alone. The Butte Citizens for Preservation and Renovation
, a nonprofit, grass-roots organization, runs workshops on brick, window, and interior-wood repair and holds regular salvage sales, where historic building materials can be purchased at reasonable prices.
Among the best for: Bargains
, Cottages and Bungalows
, History Happened Here
, Outdoor Activities