Saturday, July 9, 2011

THE COPPER KING MANSION

Last May we had a little trip to Montana and I intended to tell you about it so many times. After visiting the McConnell mansion in Moscow, Idaho, I felt that a new hobby had been born: visiting old mansions that are opened for public. When it was time to plan a trip to Montana, I included 2 mansions to visit:
1. The Copper King Mansion in Butte, Montana, and
2. The Historic Estate of Copper King Marcus Daly in Hamilton, Montana.
As you can see, the names of both places include "...the Copper King...". The historic fact is, that the Copper King Mansion in Butte belonged to William Andrews Clark, one of Montana's three famous "Copper Kings" who helped establish the fledgling Montana territory through their business ventures. The Historic Estate of Copper King in Hamilton belonged to another "copper king" Marcus Daly.
The Copper Kings, industrialists William Andrews Clark, Marcus Daly, and F. Augustus Heinze, were collectively known for the epic battles they fought in Butte, Montana and the surrounding region during the Gilded Age over the control of the local copper mining industry, a fight which had ramifications for not only Montana, but the United States as a whole.
The battles between Clark, Daly and Heinze, and later between just Heinze and industrialist financiers William Rockefeller and Henry H. Rogers are a large chapter in Montana history. Eventually, a company known as Anaconda Copper emerged as a monopoly, expanding into the fourth largest company in the world by the late 1920s.
Today I want to tell you about our visit to the Copper King Mansion in Butte, Montana.

This is my family, Jim (my husband), Nataly (5-year old Princess), Egor (15-year-old student at the Eastern Washington University), at the breakfast table at the Copper King Mansion.

The Copper King Mansion is a 34-room Victorian mansion built from 1884 to 1888 as the Butte residence of William Andrews Clark.

The Copper King Mansion has been owned, operated and occupied by the Cote family for four generations. It is as much their heritage to preserve now as it was for the Clark family a century before. Recognizing the historical value of the mansion, the Cote family has endeavored to keep the home as close to its original state as possible. Solely funded by tours, bed and breakfast guests, and catered events, the Copper King Mansion remains the only privately owned mansion in Montana accessible to the public.

Guess what, we spent a night at this 34-room Victorian beauty surrounded by hundreds of historical pieces of furniture and other things. Neither Jim nor me have never spent the night at the Bed&Breakfast House, and we couldn't resist the temptation of spending some time at the old mansion and get the feeling of the Victorian era.
I must say that the owners did a great job saving the original furniture and the atmosphere of the Victorian epoch. If you have a chance ever to visit Butte, don't forget to stop at the Copper King Mansion. You won't regret. OK, enough talking, let's see the pictures.
This is the mansion itself, you also can see my son Egor and daughter Nataly
front door
W.A. Clark retained C.H. Brown of Los Angeles as the architect and construction began in 1884 with the mansion completed in 1888. Construction was under the direction of D.T. McDevitt with the woodwork the responsibility of W.F. Beall & Co. from Chicago. The materials for the home were all imported at a cost of about $200,000.

During construction, W.A. Clark brought in artists who hand painted a different fresco ceiling in each room.
Long before the arrival of power tools, craftsmen hand carved and hand finished all of the woodwork, including the original fireplaces,
the bookcases and the main staircase. There are nine different woods in the home. Nothing has even been done to alter the original woodwork other than washing with soap and water.
All the chandeliers are original with the exception of the kitchen and ballroom.
The perfectionism in the construction of the mansion brought the total cost of construction to over a quarter million dollars by 1888.

In 1917, Senator Clark added onto the home. As of yet, we have not been able to ascertain the cost of the addition. If Senator Clark's income was indeed close to 17 million dollars a month, the cost of this home represents about a half day of his income.
The fireplace in the room we stayed
the lady's face was petitpointed and her clothes were beaded
My favorite thing in the house: huge stained glass

...to be continued...

2 comments:

cockerina said...

Hello! I published the list of participants at the "Holiday Swap, 2011." Get to know your partner!
if the translator is malfunctioning, please try to read the chain of names, in Italian, thanks!
kisses and have fun!
Caterina

Sans! said...

I have read both your posts but I still think I must come back again and again to marvel at all the wonders. Thank you for sharing , Natalia!

Needless to say, all the pictures are wonderful!

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