A Celebration 140 Years In The Making: Anaconda’s Smeltermens Day
I’m not sure if you are aware of this, or if you just missed the memo, but people in Anaconda and Butte are awfully proud of our history, and what makes us unique.
In Butte, you can’t escape the mines, and in Anaconda you can’t escape the smelters.
Anaconda’s Smeltermens Day Celebration is scheduled for August 4th- August 6th. (Friday-Sunday) A weekend to celebrate Anaconda, and learn some of the great history that made it such a critical factor in American history.
Anaconda was established in 1883 by Marcus Daly, as a site for a new smelter to treat ore from his Anaconda mine. The town was originally to be called Copperopolis, but that name was already used by another Montana town so the name Anaconda was settled on.
Within a year, Anaconda had four hotels, 24 different stores, three lumber yards, two blacksmiths, two liveries, two photographers, a bank five barbers, and (of course) TWENTY saloons. To counterbalance those twenty saloons there were also two churches. By 1890 there were 4,000 people who called Anaconda home.
In 1918 the Anaconda Smelter Stack was built as part of the Washoe Smelter. It is the tallest surviving masonry structure in the world, at 585 feet. (The entire Washington Monument would fit inside) You can read more about the Stack HERE.
The highlight of Smeltermens Day (for me) is the bus tours to the stack. This is a rare opportunity to jump on a bus and experience the stack up close and personal. You can purchase your tickets for the Stack tours HERE.
Beyond the Stack tours, there will be an art walk, a Brewfest, a free movie at the Washoe about the copper smelting process, a parade, and an after-party.
Smeltermens Day 2023 is this weekend in Anaconda, I look forward to seeing you under the stack.