Butte, Montana, a city in the Rocky Mountains. It is about 45 miles (70 km) south-southwest of Helena, the state capital. Copper mining, long the mainstay of Butte's economy, was displaced by services and wholesale and retail trade in the early 1980's. Montana Tech of the University of Montana and the World Museum of Mining are here.
Butte was founded in 1864 and incorporated as a city in 1879. Copper was discovered there in 1880, and rapid growth followed, peaking in the 1920's. Butte was made coextensive with Silver Bow County in 1977. In 1982 the Berkeley open-pit copper mine, one of the largest mining excavations in the world, was closed.