BUTTE – A decade’s worth of improvements has made Butte’s Original Mine Yard a popular spot.
“It’s turned into an events center for the community. We probably do 20 to 25 events up there throughout the year, mostly during the summer,” said Butte Parks and Recreation Events Coordinator Bob Lazzari.
The Original has been the site for Butte’s summer festivals such as the Montana Folk Festival and the An Ri Ra Irish festival. But the city also rents the space out for charity events, reunions and even weddings.
“People like to have mining-themed weddings if you’re from Butte, so you’re under the headframe, they like that,” Lazzari said.
Funding from Atlantic Richfield restoration is being used for work at the Lexington Mine in Walkerville and the grounds around the Mountain Con have been converted into a park.
“It’s great parking, the view’s unbelievable up there. Snoflinga happens up there and it’s turned out to be a big event too,” said Lazzari.
Preserving these old abandoned mine yards and preventing them from falling into ruin is all about Butte’s plan of investing in its history.
“Someone had great vision say, you know, these are a positive for Butte, they’ve changed in a positive way too, they’ve cleaned them up, they’re more attractive and also keeping our heritage alive,” he said.
A unique place to play.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News