Anaconda, Montana

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Main Street, Anaconda, Montana
Deer Lodge County Courthouse in Anaconda

Anaconda, county seat of Anaconda City/Deer Lodge County, is located in mountainous southwestern Montana. The Continental Divide passes within 8 mi (13 km) south of the community with the local Pintler Mountain range reaching 10,379 ft (3,164 m). According to the 2010 census the population is 9,328, with a per capita personal income of $21,163 and a median household income of $26,305. It is the ninth most populous city in Montana. Central Anaconda is 5,335 ft (1,626 m) above sea level, and is surrounded by the communities of Opportunity and West Valley.

The county area is 741 square miles (1,920 km2), characterized by densely timbered forestlands, lakes, mountains and recreation grounds. The county has common borders with Beaverhead, Butte-Silver Bow, Granite, Jefferson and Powell counties.

History[edit]

Hearst Free Library, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Club Moderne, Anaconda. Historic American Buildings Survey

Anaconda was founded by Marcus Daly, one of the Copper Kings, who financed the construction of a smelter on nearby Warm Springs Creek to process copper ore from the Butte mines. In June 1883, Daly filed for a town plat for “Copperopolis,” but that name already graced another mining town, Copperopolis in Meagher County. Instead, Daly accepted the name "Anaconda" from the postmaster of the time, Clinton Moore.

In 1903, the Socialist Party of America won its first victory west of the Mississippi when Anaconda elected a socialist mayor, treasurer, police judge, and three councilmen. The Socialist Party had grown within the Montana labor movement. Initially, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company tolerated them, but when the Socialists gained political power and threatened to implement reform, the company systematically undermined the radical party. City workers and councilmen refused to cooperate with the new mayor, and the company began to fire Socialists. In the long run labor lost ground in Anaconda and the company exerted ever greater political control.[1]

The Anaconda Company expanded smelting capacity over time, and by 1919 the Washoe Reduction Works could boast that its 585-foot (178 m) smokestack (Anaconda Smelter Stack) was the tallest masonry structure in the world and that the smelter-refining complex constituted the world’s largest nonferrous processing plant.

In 1980, Atlantic Richfield Company closed the smelter, bringing an end to almost a century of mineral processing.[2] Since then, an operation for environmental cleanup was put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency and executed with the assistance of ARCO. The multi-million dollar cleanup and investment has resulted in the formation of "Old Works" Golf Course, a championship 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Part of Anaconda is included in the Butte-Anaconda Historic District.

Geography[edit]

  • Elevation: 5335 ft (1,626 m)
  • Average annual rainfall: 14 inches (356 mm)
  • Average length of growing season: 114 days
  • Average annual snowfall: 48.0 inches (122 cm)
  • Average annual temperature: 43.0 °F (6.1 °C)

Climate[edit]

Entering Anaconda, looking west
Climate data for Anaconda
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
(16)
65
(18)
71
(22)
83
(28)
89
(32)
95
(35)
100
(38)
98
(37)
95
(35)
88
(31)
71
(22)
60
(16)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 35.2
(1.8)
39.9
(4.4)
46.6
(8.1)
55.3
(12.9)
64.2
(17.9)
72.8
(22.7)
80.4
(26.9)
80.5
(26.9)
70.2
(21.2)
58.4
(14.7)
42.5
(5.8)
34.9
(1.6)
56.74
(13.74)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.2
(−4.3)
28.2
(−2.1)
34.4
(1.3)
41.8
(5.4)
50.0
(10)
57.8
(14.3)
63.6
(17.6)
63.4
(17.4)
54.1
(12.3)
44.2
(6.8)
31.3
(−0.4)
24.0
(−4.4)
43.08
(6.16)
Average low °F (°C) 13.1
(−10.5)
16.5
(−8.6)
22.1
(−5.5)
28.3
(−2.1)
35.7
(2.1)
42.7
(5.9)
46.8
(8.2)
46.3
(7.9)
38.0
(3.3)
30.0
(−1.1)
20.1
(−6.6)
13.1
(−10.5)
29.39
(−1.46)
Record low °F (°C) −28
(−33)
−35
(−37)
−12
(−24)
4
(−16)
17
(−8)
27
(−3)
30
(−1)
25
(−4)
12
(−11)
−9
(−23)
−22
(−30)
−38
(−39)
−38
(−39)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.58
(14.7)
0.46
(11.7)
1.04
(26.4)
1.17
(29.7)
1.85
(47)
1.93
(49)
1.43
(36.3)
1.47
(37.3)
1.14
(29)
0.84
(21.3)
0.84
(21.3)
0.63
(16)
13.38
(339.7)
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000) [3]
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records) [4]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 700
1890 3,975 467.9%
1900 9,453 137.8%
1910 10,134 7.2%
1920 11,668 15.1%
1930 12,494 7.1%
1940 11,004 −11.9%
1950 11,254 2.3%
1960 12,054 7.1%
1970 9,771 −18.9%
1980 12,518 28.1%
1990 10,278 −17.9%
2000 9,417 −8.4%
2010 9,298 −1.3%
source:[5]

Economy[edit]

Arts and Culture[edit]

Sports and recreation[edit]

  • Hunting - Many local establishments can provide hunting licenses for in-state and out of state hunters. There are hundreds of square miles of hunting available to the public in the area. With permit, hunting is permitted for fowl, bear, mountain lion, elk, deer and moose, however only deer and elk hunting is allowed without application to the state hunting license draw.
  • Fishing - With the exception of many mountain lakes and streams, primary fishing spots include Silver Lake, Georgetown Lake, Echo Lake, Warm Springs Creek and the Big Hole River.
  • Golf - The Old Works Golf Course is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. There is also a local country club and an 18 hole championship golf course located at Fairmont Hot Springs.
  • Skiing - With plentiful trails for cross country skiers, and the Discovery Ski Area for downhill skiers Anaconda is an excellent place for the skiing enthusiast. The Discovery Ski Area also grooms 5 km (3.1 mi) of cross country ski trails. Discovery ski area boasts 15 downhill double black diamond trails.
  • Darts -The annual Winter Getaway dart tournament held in several local establishments draws as the largest regional dart tournament in the State of Montana
  • Museums - The Copper Village Museum and Arts Center provides visitors and residents with art and history of the local area.

Government[edit]

Education[edit]

Media[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jerry Calvert, "The Rise and Fall of Socialism in a Company Town, 1902-1905," Montana Dec 1986, Vol. 36 Issue 4, pp 2-13
  2. ^ Aarstad, Rich, Ellie Arguimbau, Ellen Baumler, Charlene Porsild, and Brian Shovers. Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman. Montana Historical Society Press.
  3. ^ "Climatography of the United States NO.81". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Monthly Averages for Anaconda, MT". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 127.
  6. ^ "Founder of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps movement dies". Catholic Sentinel. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mercier, Laurie. Anaconda: Labor, Community, and Culture in Montana's Smelter City (University of Illinois Press, 2001) 300pp

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°08′N 112°56′W / 46.133°N 112.933°W / 46.133; -112.933