Rocky Mountain Trip travel blog

Elk Sculpture in Anaconda

Anaconda Stack

Minerals at Mining Museum

Florescent Minerals

Headframe a.k.a. Gallow Frame

Montana Prison Tower

Prison Tower

Solitary Confinement

Prison Tower Damaged in Riot

Tower and Sally Door

Prison Theater

Grant Kohr's Ranch House

After Glacier we started our trek east. First stop was Anaconda, MT, a town not far from Butte. A very visible landmark in the area is the Anaconda Stack, a radial, brick smokestack that was designed to discharge gasses from various roasting and smelting furnaces of the Anaconda Company.

We visited the Grant-Kohrs ranch, a national historic site in Deer Lodge. The ranch is still a working ranch, but it certainly diminished in size as it was once a 10 million acre ranch.

Also in Deer Lodge is the old Montana State Prison. The prison was used from 1871 until 1979 and like the other prisons we visited, the prison in now a museum. The cells, like the others we have seen, are not very inviting places. We have found it interesting that Colorado, Idaho, and Montana have turned their prisons into museums. We haven't seen that back east.

We took a drive into Butte, an old mining town and it appears they have had difficulty recovering from the downturn in mining. We visited the World Mining Museum on the campus of Montana Tech, and saw several pieces of mining equipment. We learned that the towers that housed the elevators that went down into the mine are “head frames” but were called "gallows" by the miners due to their appearance. We saw at least 20 head frames around town, the vast majority no longer being used.

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