1. Professor Terry J. lovell

    Any project that has Dr. Dave Emmons is worth the time and effort to see-no matter what one must do! Dave isn’t just a great man of letters or a fine clasroom orator or a strong handball player. Dave is that rarest of person who inspires other to be more than they ever imagined they could become. I have spent the past 26 years at the front of college classrooms, hoping to become as magical in the classroom as Dave always managed to be! If only to see Professor Emmons this is a must see!
    Professor Terry J. lovell, Ph.D.
    Yavapai College
    Prescott, AZ

  2. Shannon Coates-Smith

    I just went to the Butte America film at the Mirna Loy. I am from Walkerville and have a very long line of miner’s in my family! I thought the film was outstanding! Thank You for all the hard work that went into that! I would highly suggest to have the film played during the same time as the Butte Folk Fest July 10,11,12 2009! So many people come from all over and want to know so much about Butte’s history! That would be a great time to allow people to see it!! Thanks Again! Shannon

  3. Janie Payne

    I had the privilege of seeing the film, Butte,America last evening at the private showing sponsored by NorthWestern Energy. I have to congratulate you on a beautiful movie about my home town, its resiliency, and the hearty souls who have made Butte the wonderful place it is today. I left the theatre with tears in my eyes not only because of the hard life and lost lives of the underground miners portrayed in the film but also because I felt so incredibly proud of Butte and its role in American History.

    Thank you for telling our story with such accuracy and truth. It was fun to see my third cousin, John Mihelich, in the film. There’s no place like Butte where we proudly proclaim our heritage even down to the fourth, fifth, and sixth cousins.

  4. Charles L. Norris

    Obviously, I’m very proud to say I grew up in Butte. Attended Butte High in the mid fifty’s, great time of my life. We usually spend a few weeks there every summer and I look forward to purchasing the DVD when available. Thank You.

  5. George Weldon

    I am a Butte Native, relocated due to financial circumstances. My heart has always been in Butte and the Northwest. Raised in Centerville, went to Saint Lawrence, Butte Central, and Carroll College. My last job was at the Mt. Con.

    Always interested in all things pertaining to the city and area. I stay in touch through the Montana Standard, and the few remaining survivors my age.

  6. Janie Payne

    I had the privilege of seeing the film, Butte, America last evening at the private showing sponsored by NorthWestern Energy. I have to congratulate you on a beautiful movie about my home town, its resiliency, and the hearty souls who have made Butte the wonderful place it is today. I left the theatre with tears in my eyes not only because of the hard life and lost lives of the underground miners portrayed in the film but also because I felt so incredibly proud of Butte and its role in American History.

    Thank you for telling our story with such accuracy and truth. It was fun to see my third cousin, John Mihelich, in the film. There’s no place like Butte where we proudly proclaim our heritage even down to the fourth, fifth, and sixth co

  7. Helen McDuffie

    I was born and raised in Butte, as were my mother and father. Both of my grandfathers were immigrant Irish miners so I feel I belong to Butte! I now live in Seattle and am interested to know if this film will be shown on the PBS station here. Of course, I would like to have the DVD and look forward to getting info as to its purchase. Thank you!

  8. Keith McDuffie

    As a Missoula high school graduate and former University of Montana professor who has lived in Pittsburgh for nearly 35 years, I am still drawn back to Montana’s physical beauty and history. In fact, I will attend my 60-year Missoula County High School reunion in September, 2009. I have ties through marriage to Butte, and my daughter Anne McDuffie, who lives in Seattle, has done historical research in situ and written and given talks about Butte history in the Seattle area. I look forward to purchasing the DVD when it becomes available, and to seeing it on PBS.

  9. John Gunter

    Will be watching for the Fall viewing on PBS. I am a Butte native (currently living in Lakewood,CO) and look forward to seeing the film. I may have left Butte, but Butte has never quite left me. I also look forward to owning a copy of this important work. Thanks to all for an overdue tribute to the “Richest Hill on Earth”.

  10. Raymond M Peterson MD

    A native of Butte, graduate of MSU before moving on to Med School in Minnesota. Worked in the Mines (Kelly, Anselmo, and Original as well as the new Pit) during holidays. Also the BAP as a gandy dancer. Have followed the history of the city and the industry with Anaconda and then ARCA. Would love to see the whole documentary. Thank you for this contribution

  11. Lynda Boehler Buermann

    I can’t begin to tell you how deeply moved I am that the story of Butte has finally been told. I want to own a copy of the film and share it with everyone. THANK YOU to those who were involved in the telling of Butte’s story!!!!

  12. Dan Langfeldt

    Congratulations on producing a film about Butte. I am interested in obtaining a copy as I worked and sampled at the Emma(flat rope),worked at the Con, bossed and safety engineered at the Kelley, and bossed at the Steward(air hoist). Some of my heros are John Killoy, Bud Powell, Tommy Johns, John Gillespie, Ray Malloy, Paul Wells, Bill Kreiger, P K Ramsey, Bill Kreiger, Forrest Sallee and Elmer Fitchen. These men and many other heros of mine were tops to work with and deserve all the credit in the world for doing their part in making Butte the “Greatest Hill on Earth.

  13. Helen Grimes

    So happy to hear someone has done this.
    My family worked the mines. We owned the Rumpus Room with Chris Martin below the Rialto theatre. I worked in the Medical Arts Bldg. for Dr. George. You never get over the love for Butte.
    I also enjoy Lisa Wareham’s pictures.

  14. Judy (Grimes) Mason

    My family worked the mines in Butte, Walkerville, Centerville-and both Pits.
    Mining and the folks who carried their bucket to work each day-have a special bond. It is like being in the same battle together as soldiers. It is in your soul and you feel it with all your being. So many have gone, but thank God people like you keep the memory alive.

  15. Jackie Corr

    How serendipitous it was for the family of Jackie Corr to be in the Washoe Theatre on July 12 to hear your touching tribute of our brother, uncle & cousin. Thank you.
    He was an “Original Butte Character”, which is what we had inscribed on his tombstone. As maddening as he could be at times, all our lives were enriched by his stories, lectures and opinions.
    Congratulations on your fascinating film. I look forward to seeing it again in San Francisco.

  16. barbara broderick cannon

    I also shed a few tears during this wonderful film and was lucky enough to see it at the beautiful Washoe Theater in Anaconda. What bonds and what a history our two towns share! It was memorable to just walk in the area of the theater before and after the film, and look again at the sites of so many memories!

    I have been letting my scattered friends and family know that it will be broadcast this fall on public television so they won’t miss it. It’s a treasure for any of us that know and love Butte.

  17. Erica Martin

    RE: The Rumpus Room
    To Helen Grimes:

    I was looking up my grandpa’s old bar and came across this site. My grandpa was Chris, my father is Mark, you may know him you may not, but I was searching the web to find some inspiration for my life to maybe pursue being a bartender. My grandpa holds a special place in my heart and to pursue this would make me feel a lot closer to him, since we lost him when I was young. Just reading his name made me smile 🙂

  18. Glenn Chaffin

    Would like to know the cost of the CD.

    I only spent one year in the city and it is a year I will always remember.

    It was the year of the big earth quake, and the year a lady went into a bar shot her husband and got off on justafible homicide


  19. Harlean & Ace Oswell

    What a wonderful historical documentary of a very diverse people from lands of many who made Butte, MT what it is today! The film being appropriately titled “Butte America” captured and shows us just a glimpse of the way it truly was! Well done! Thank you for bringing a dream of yours for the past 10 years to fruition for us to enjoy! Loved it! Would love to see the story continued in a Part II…..

  20. Nancy Corr Gerry

    I want to thank you Pam for preserving my brother’s love of Butte on film. Jackie was the oldest and I was the baby so our relationship was about us. Until he died I never knew the scope of what he contributed. He never bragged nor did he ever really tell me about being interviewed. To be honest the only thing I thought he did was write for the local newspapers. I never knew. I was the lucky one to be such a part of his life…I miss him so much calling me every night to see how my husband Greg is and to give my 3 doggies a kiss goodnight. He was a pain sometimes but he was the most honest man I knew. He couldn’t tell a lie. He may have skirted the question but he wouldn’t have lied. Miss him so much

  21. Pa tO'Connor

    I haven’t seen the movie, but spent time in Butte doing geneaological research while living in Montana. I’m so glad to see this town highlighted. It’s an amazing place, but to appreciate Butte a person needs to have some background of all that has taken place so they don’t just drive through, stop at Arby’s, and keep going. From St. Pat’s cemetery to the Silverbow county records and historical society, and even Evil Knevil’s house, the upwelling of events that have taken place in Butte never stops. The preserved mining town on the hill, and museum, combine to be one of the best cultural exhibits in America, and worth the stop. Unfortunately for me, not many O’Connors seem to have gone into mining. Now if you’re a Sullivan, it’s a goldmine of another kind.

  22. Dawn Atwater

    Camping across the country alone with my dog Rocksanne I drove into Butte about five o’clock some fifteen years ago now. It was a late spring night when I got my first taste of that indefatigable town. I had been to Bisbee, AZ, Wilkes Barre, Pa and Kellogg, ID all big mining cities hardbitten by the times but Butte was different. It had an edge. The homes once robber baren owned were not far from the raw poverty indigent sense of the place. The earth seemed closer here than anywhere I had ever been. I could swell the processing of the copper even though I doubt much smeltering was going on. Lining the streets were bars one after the other like homes for the hopeless. At the same point I wanted to leave but was drawn to stay. There was no patina about Butte – no subtlties. It was as honest a place as I had ever been or suspect I will be.

  23. Linda Bookey

    It was a wonderful experience to watch this film in a roomful of Butte expatriates at Seattle University. Everyone knew someone in the film, and we all wished that we hadn’t had to leave Butte to make a living elsewhere. My dad is a former hard rock miner, and he thought the film NAILED it! Former Congressman Williams was a great accompaniment to the film, as was Ed Dobb. I’m so glad it got made, and hope it wins many awards. Linda (part of the Rafish and Rudolph family) Bookey.

  24. Walter Johnson

    My grandfather, Leonard Stillwas a survivor in the 1917 Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine Fire! He was one of 28 men who was trapped with Manus Duggan on the 2400 level of the mine and bulkheaded themselves in fom the gas and smoke. He and a couple of dozen otheers survived but as you know Duggan and several others did not. He never talked about it to me and I only realized just a few years ago when I picked up the book “Fire and Brimstone” by Michael Punke that he was in the mine fire.

    -I started working for the Anaconda Company in 1970 as a laboror on the “Bull gang” in the converter department on Jan 12th 1970. and later transferred to the Weed concentrator in Butte as a laboror on swing shift operations. I worked my way up the ladder as a mill operator,flotation operator, bumpup foreman, and finally working as a shift operations foreman in 1973.I had just delivered my leach an precip crew to the Berkeley dry and headed on my rounds to the tailings pump station,tailings ponds and Kelly surface water pumps when I received a call on my truck radio to shut the surface pumps down as water was no longer going to be pumped out of the Kelly Mine. I took my water sample out of the flume and watched as the water q uit coming. I knew then it was the end of underground mining in Butte and the jobs it provided. I also shut the pumps down at the leach and precip plant just before the June 30th 1983 closure and started the flooding of the pit. I guess I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time to be caught up in these lifetime events.I will never forget that 6:30 AM morning walk coming off nightshift at the Weed concentrator! I never looked back!! I can only hope that this film shows the “Company side” as well as the “Union Side” so the real side of “Butte America” can and should be told The “Company” provided thousands of people a good living and although they could not always see eye to eye the stories about Butte and its people and yes the company will seep out story by story every year. Butte is mining again today withhrecord high copper prices and moly too! Butte lives on!! Thank you for making this film and thank you for Montana PBS Walter and Phyllis Johnson

  25. Leonore Tiefer

    I’ve never been to Butte and I have no connection to mining. But I come from a labor union family and ethnic immigrant roots. I live in New York City. I was very moved and enormously enlightened by “Butte, America” which I saw on
    Independent Lens” television tonight. The film team did a fabulous job integrating a huge number of themes and a vast span of history. I am always so impressed when I am able to get to know some people from a very different social location, and I felt I could relate to these miners, their comraderie and their pride. I only knew about miners from “How Green was my Valley” about the Welsh! I appreciated learning about the relationship of war to economic trends to labor union strength to individual quality of life. The film was really panoramic in this way. Thank so much.

  26. bateam

    Pam, I just viewed your work on my local PBS affiliate regarding
    this airing, and wanted to let you you know how grateful I am for your

    While not hailing from that area, your approach to this subject
    lent deep empathy on my part, and enlightened me to the history of the
    area. So much so that it brought both tears of frustration and
    positivity at the robustness of the story.

    Amazing work, and amazing people. My only hope is that both you
    and the town of Butte continue with your talents, vision, and fortitude.

  27. Dorothy McBride

    My family came to Butte in 1914 following the mining business from the Black Hills. But their story expands on the story in Butte, America because they were not underground but part of the support machinists who kept the hoists running. My great uncle William Lilly invented a mechanism that prevented the hoist from spilling the cars and their contents of men and ore all over the mineyard (called the “Lilly controller”) So, I think while the stories in the film are important there are many, many more stories in Butte and the strength of that great town endures to this day. For those of us who were there before 1973, however, we all share the grief at losing the Columbia Gardens!

  28. Dayla Hart

    I am a Butte native. Both my parents were born and raised in Butte. My mom grew up in Meaderville, and my grandfather worked in the mines. I really loved this movie. Even though I lived in Butte most of my life, I did not always hear the truth of how hard life was in the mines. It was a real eye opener and makes me miss home and the resilient people there. My family will be purchasing several copies of the DVD. Thanks again.

  29. Tim Barry

    My maternal grandfather, an Irish immigrant, was a miner and watchman in the mines of Butte. My Irish grandmother raised my mother and her family living a tough life out on the flats. My grandfather died a young man of “black lung”, or miner’s consumption.

    My paternal grandfather ran Hennessy’s department store for decades. This was the Macy’s of Butte. My grandmother raised my father and her family, Uptown, on North Montana street and Caledonia Avenue. She made and sold pasties every day to the miners and workmen.

    My father and erstwhile co-conspirators derailed several trains, with blasting caps, in fun of course, off the line on North Montana street, when they were kids.

    My parents married in Butte in the late 50’s and moved away to escape to better lives, away from the brutal conditions that came with the mines.

    As kids, we visited Butte many times. My uncles worked in the Berkeley and my aunts at Montana Power and Montana State Univerisity. We would go to the Columbia Gardens and burn the days, only a kid can know, riding the planes, the swings, the rollercoaster and working every machine along the nickelodeon.

    I came of age in Butte, traveling to see my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins–raising hell and growing up. My family still retreats there for reunions, or when one of us marries or somebody passes.

    It is a place of beauty and heartache and an honest and rough-hewn a place as I’ve ever known.

  30. Pamella Bogunovich

    Butte, America. I could write a book of Butte memories. I was born and raised in Butte. My parents settled in Butte in the mid sixties having migrated to Butte from North Central Montana. I was born in 1966 and my dad planted roots in Butte to give me and my sister a place to call home. Dad worked in the mines and I can remember as a kid hearing the blasts from the pit and coming to simply know that familiar boom as part of daily life in Butte. I was young when the Columbia Gardens burned but have memories of the roller coaster and the airplanes. My sister was a “strike baby’ born in 1968. We lived all over Butte, uptown, Eastside and eventually settled way out on the flats. Where Wal-Mart now sits I rode my horse with the Pit as an ever-present backdrop and reminder that we were a company town.

    This film brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. Watching the scenes unfold and the events take place I was reminded of the innate reason I will always have the connection I have to Butte. My husband’s family settled in Big Horn/Hysham and built a ranch with money they made in the Butte mines after they emigrated from Yugoslavia in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. Often with a name like Bogunovich people will guess that I am from Butte and I am forced to tell them the story of our two families and how this Butte girl married a Hysham boy with ties to Butte.

    Thank you for bringing the story of this hard rock mining town to the world. I am proud to be a Butte Rat. In Butte I learned how to endure, how to compete and remain friends and most importantly that when ever I crest that pass that drops into Butte coming out of Elk Park that I am home.

  31. Dustin Schillinger

    I just finished watching Butte America, which my parents gave to me for Christmas. I am a third generation underground hardrock miner, and no matter where you are from or what mine you worked in, this film is a touching reminder what it means to be an American. I am 28 years old, and Butte is my favorite place on earth. I live in Kansas now, and seeing the fog over the headframes and listening to the miners tell thier stories brought out every emotion a person can have. Butte will always be the Greatest City on Earth because of the people that live there and keep history alive. There is something about Butte and it’s people that you will not find anywhere else. I just want to say thank you for capturing that on film so that Butte can be shared with the world. Where else on earth can you sit on a stool at a tiny lunch counter on Mercury and eat a Pork Chop John sandwhich with a lawyer on one side of you – complete with suit and tie, only to have a man that may not have seen a shower for weeks sitting on the other? Butte people are the toughest, most loyal and caring people out there, and people across the country could learn alot from the Richest Hill on Earth. Thanks again for the wonderful film. Tap er’ Light!


  32. Dave Blankenship

    I am a Butte native and damn proud of it! I am the 3rd of 6 kids and was born in 1960. My father Don Blankenship arrived in Butte in 1951 with some buddies of his from West Virginia, coal mining country. He married my mother Jane Rule, who helped her parents run a boarding house in uptown Butte.

    I remember living in an apartment building on Mercury street, which eventually became part of the pit near Continental Dr., before moving to a nice home on the flats.

    My Dad worked the undergroud mines and began bringing home a collection of rocks and crystals in his lunch bucket. That finally gave him the idea for us kids to sell ore samples during the summer, to tourist at the pit viewing stand. He was an extremely resourceful man, always having many “irons in the fire”. He also became the 1st person to win both the State “indoor” and “outdoor” Archery championships in the same year.

    I sold rocks as a kid. Shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and delivering papers had become side jobs. Although I hated spending my summer in the basement gluing rocks onto postcards, it allowed us to buy our own school clothes, bikes, and even shop Hennessey’s. At my father’s suggestion, I was even afforded the opportunity to became a pilot at the age of 16, not realizing at the time that he was living his dream through me.

    We were the first to sell souvenirs at the viewing stand and did so for 4 or 5 years, until we were no longer allowed, as there became too many tables practicing free enterprise. But, I feel I had already become an official “business man” at the age of 11, being so engrained in the mining industry. The following summer, there was a “company” owned gift shop at the viewing stand.

    Not realizing I would never live in Butte again, I left for college in Bozeman in 1978, got married, and settled in Phoenix where I raised a family. We return as often as possible to visit an extended family and friends. The hunting, fishing, skiing, and scenery is unmatched any where in the world.

    Today, at 50 years old, I find myself more and more thirsting for any tidbit of Butte culture and history, via the internet, book, or movie such as this. With the kids grown now, I so long for Montana, my plans are to move back this summer. I have never met any people so genuine or so proud of their upbringing and heritage as those from Butte America!!

    Thank you for telling OUR story!

  33. Sandi Fitz Ceserani

    This film moved me to tears many times..It moved me and filled me with so much pride…I was born and raised in Butte in 43 and growing up in Butte was like heaven compared to children nowaday. We used to go all over the city (by ourselves) on Halloween…Walk to the Columbia Gardens all the time..Climb the mountains! It was truly a wonderful childhood…We respected our elders and the police…We entertained ourselves playing kick the can, back lot baseball and football..I was a quite a tomboy. Then I met and fell in love with a cute little guy named Jim Ceserani from McQueen and we set off on a world adventure..Arfica, Indonesia S.F. Alaska and now Louisiana…But where ever we went there was always a longing to return to our home Butte. I am so happy that my children and grandchildren could see this film . It esplains Butte and it’s people much better than I ever could…I love the people of Butte, and may God bless her as she struggles to live on… Sandi Fitz Ceserani..PS I wish someone would make a big screen moveie about Butte..We spend every summer at Georgetown Lake Boatclub at a place owned by Jimmy’s deceased parents..We are very fortunate to have the place now…Sandi……….

  34. Astrid Northrup

    I had the profound privilege to see this film at the historic Babcock theater in Billings with my mother and my sons. I am forever awed by this film, by how my people were shaped and conversely shaped Butte. how as a Butte girl myself my past, personality, and future are all intertwined with this amazing town. Butte lives on in all of us that were forged in her fire. Butte is one of a kind, and this film captures the town’s essence.

  35. darrell hebert

    Butte stole our heart this spring. Having never been to Montana, we made the trek up to Butte on a College recruiting trip. It touched us. The people, and the history was just amazing. we decided that my son Daniel (born on St Patricks day) will be there for 4 years as the point guard for the basketball team at Montana Tech. We are happy about Butte as a very friendly place that had smiles and nice things to say everywhere we went. We are so looking forward to being there in agust for a week.

    Go Diggers !


  36. Dan Anderson

    Terrific movie! Much has been said and written about Butte but there are few video records of its long history.

    Although I left Butte years ago, Butte has never left me or my family.

    Thank you for ttelling our story.

  37. admin

    All is Well in Montana!

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