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The Richest Hill on Earth

Butte isn't the kind of place where you can spend a half hour, and know anything about it. Butte-Anaconda constitutes the largest National Historic Landmark District in the nation by contributing property count, with nearly 6,000. The Richest Hill on Earth is rich in much more than just minerals: Butte's people built mines, mills, churches, brothels, saloons, and homes that today reflect mining and labor history unparalleled in America. And Butte's copper electrified the nation.

The only industrial urban metropolis between Minneapolis and Seattle was home to some 33 ethnic groups - and they didn't always get along. There wasn't much melting in this "melting pot" until World War II. Before that, 100,000 copper kings, immigrant miners, shopkeepers, teachers, doctors, children, prostitutes, and more made Butte unique.

As controversial writer Mary MacLane wrote in 1902, "For mixture, for miscellany--variedness, Bohemianism--where is Butte's rival?" And that's still true today.

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