Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fading Reminders

Most days I drive to the grocery store, a habit I got into in Europe where the fridge and storage area was minimal. Each day I pass reminders of what this now-quiet mining town was once. The population has remained stagnant for the last 20 years after a sharp decline when mining stopped. Depending on the source, the population in 1900 was around 70,000, now it's about 25,000. I've been looking at these for years, and like anything you see everyday, often you don't see it; it doesn't register. Signs on buildings were common back then, painted on by hand.







Of course it does, probably arthritis too.









Did you know sheep shearers had their own union?











There were at least two different signs on this building, on the right is Highlander Beer





For those with a sweet tooth all over the world









The last one is not a sign, but a reminder of the town's labor past, and the fact that today it's a blue town in a red state.





April 2nd...it's springtime. Light snow falls outside, the tulips and daffodils are under a foot of packed snow, the lilac hasn't even thought about putting out buds yet.

15 comments:

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    1. Agree, I liked your story quite a bit (your blog post)

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  2. It is a shame that many of those signs get painted over; covering history.

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    1. Probably many were over-painted not many years after the original...didn't seem like a problem to them.

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  3. Great pictures of days gone by, SFM.

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    1. They do lend themselves to memories, eh?

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  4. Most interesting post. We have a few old building left like that in our small town. I think of all the times we breezed thru Butte on our way to flyfishing venues and rarely stopped, though once I had my picture taken in front of a famous flyshop there. My Enlish teaching partner in a Humanities class had a familiar name in Butte. She was Mrs. Fran Johnson....;)

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    1. Alas, Fran's was sold a couple years ago, though it's retained the name. Did you ever go to that small flyshop out on Harrison....Tight Lines it was called, owned by a buddy Paul Redfern. He retired two years ago also.

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  5. It's like my hometown in the seventies and eighties. Or Cleveland, the "big" city north. A lot of that nostalgia has been preserved inside up and coming boutique microbreweries and restaurants. Before it was the rust belt my home town was the rubber capital of the world and the home of Quaker Oats. Two interestingly competing smells.

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    1. Wish we had some business coming in, but probably a quarter of the buildings in Uptown are shuttered.

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  6. Those are some neat images. What was mined in your town?

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    1. I believe the first thing was silver, hence the county name 'silver bow', then the biggie was copper.....most of the copper involved in electrifying the country was from here. After that became cheaper in S. America it was molybdnum, used in making stainless steel I think. The mines played out by the late 70's and early 80's.

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    2. We were gold and silver during the late 1800s. There are a couple moly mines in the region, but mining, by and large, is done here.

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  7. I love old fading signs like that.It's remarkable to me how long they last. And it would be so much fun to turn Socialist Hall into an apartment building and leave the carved sign up.

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    1. The building has been used for over 30 years to house a sporting goods store, mainly fishing and hunting.
      But yeah, that's a cool idea.

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