Butte Montana Headframe - Red

IMAGETAKERS

Idaho Falls, United States

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Artist's Description

There is no more important symbol of Butte than its headframes that stand over the Hill’s now silent underground copper mineyards. These tall structures—they range from 99 to 200 feet—are remnants of the underground copper mining era that was the engine for the city’s renowned prosperity and the source of its nickname “The Richest Hill on Earth.”
They were originally called gallows frames (or gallus frames) because they were used to lower miners to their stations below the surface. The double meaning of the name was not lost on the miners who knew the risks in their daily work. Many died below the surface in the dangerous business of “getting the rock in the box.”
They represent Butte’s mining heritage, the submerged sacrifice of sweat, toil and tears to get the precious metals from beneath the surface that helped win wars and fuel a global economy. The copper mines beneath each headframe made widows and orphans but their immense wealth also fed and clothed thousands of families, many of them immigrants from around the world who realized their American dreams here.

Quotes From Light UP Butte’s Historic Headframes
http://www.mainstreetbutte.org/headframes.htm

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