How did these Montana towns earn their nicknames? Do they still fit?
We've heard all of the nicknames of Montana towns before. Butte has been known as "The Mining City" since well before the first shovel of dirt was taken out of the Berkeley Pit. Missoula, in all of its lush greenery is known as "The Garden City". Helena, naturally, is the Capital City, while Billings is known as "The Magic City" and Bozeman is "The California City". Okay, I'm just joking on that last one. Sort of.
Where did these nicknames come from. And are they still accurate? We took a look at a few of Montana's most colorfully nicknamed towns.
BUTTE - THE MINING CITY
Butte is as known for the mining headframes on it's landscape as it is for it's rough-and-tumble attitude that stems from the days when her many mines were running 24/7. Although the underground mining has stopped, Montana Resources continues round-the-clock mining to this day and the moniker of "The Mining City" is entirely appropriate.
GREAT FALLS - THE ELECTRIC CITY
Great Falls, Montana's third largest city, is nicknamed "The Electric City" as it is located adjacent to the Missouri River and is the site of many power plants and dams. This nickname is appropriate as much of Montana's energy still comes from Great Falls.
BILLINGS - THE MAGIC CITY
Why "The Magic City"? Billings started out as a railroad town and "magically" grew into Montana's most populous town. Billings is still growing in part due to it's proximity to the Bakken Oil Fields and it's robust downtown featuring national companies such as Wells Fargo and G.E. Billings is a great town, but magical? I guess it depends on your definition of "magic".
MISSOULA - THE GARDEN CITY
Missoula is very green. In fact, the town got its start as a lumber and agricultural center with an impressive number of gardens and trees decorating many of its ornate homes. Downtown Missoula and its foliage, particularly near the University of Montana, is beautiful in the summer and outright vibrant in the fall. The Garden City is very aptly nicknamed.
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