On a wayward trip this last week, across the great open space of Montana, I managed to find the time to steer into one of my favorite towns in America –Butte. Some who have been to Butte recently might ponder my choice of naming Butte as one of America’s greats and that’s understandable. As it stands now, there isn’t much to say about this town of roughly 35,000. It’s a shadow of its former self-filled with vacant, historic buildings, desolation in the streets and a hodgepodge of enterprises both savory and not.
But, what draws me to Butte isn’t it’s current state, but the history contained in what remains.
Butte, was one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, with over 60,000 people living in Butte in 1920. The reason was copper, which at the time was plentiful underneath the city making Butte one of the largest boom-towns in the west and making a handful of copper barons very wealthy. In, fact, Butte was once called,”the richest hill on Earth”, due to the vast amount of copper coming and going from the city.
Withdrawing all that copper from the ground took laborers, thousands of them. So Butte’s population quickly grew and around them came a host of saloons and red-light districts as well as an extensive police department to keep the local workers in line. Given that many of the workers were from all over the world, this was a task that was not easy.
People came from all over to strike it rich in copper or to just work in the mines for a living in a West that had little to no jobs. From that time, Butte has documented immigrants from Cornwall, Wales, Lebanon, Finland, England, Italy, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Mexico, Montenegro, China, and Ireland! An impressive feat for a town stuck in the center of the desolate west in the late 1800’s. But, although the city was packed with folks from around the world, it was the folks from Ireland that quickly took over and made Butte their home.
So many immigrants from Ireland came to Butte over those years of copper-wealth, that the town now has a hugely Irish flavor and feel to it. The town has a number of Irish pubs and eateries focusing on Irish cuisine and beverages. The local St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which started in 1882) still draws an additional 30,000 people to the city every year.
In honor of the former wealth and beauty of a town once the most cosmopolitan in the West, I’d like to offer up the Waterford Killbarry Fountain Pen in Emerald Isle.The Kilbarry parish in Waterford County, Ireland lends its name to this family of fine writing instruments. The legacy of world-renowned Waterford Crystal ensures the highest quality and finest materials. Waterford Kilbarry offers a robust pen that represents a smooth and balanced feel to the writing. And, it’s in the color of the Emerald Isles.
Physically, the pen has an 18k German, bi-color, gold plated steel nib, with a distinctive guilloche pattern on the barrel. Platinum plated accents increase the stunning visuals of the deep-green, full-bodied pen that has a clip invoking the sculpted patterns of crystal that Waterford is known for.
Take the time to look at this and other Waterford Kilbarry pens in the Executive Essentials Catalog