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Butte in Silver Bow County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Wah Chong Tai Company Building and Mai Wah Noodle Parlors

Butte National Historic Landmark District

 
 
Wah Chong Tai Company Building and Mai Wah Noodle Parlors Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 13, 2021
1. Wah Chong Tai Company Building and Mai Wah Noodle Parlors Marker
Inscription.  These two buildings are at the heart of what was Butte’s Chinatown. By 1890, nearly 400 Chinese lived and worked in this area. Chinese businesses—physicians, druggists, tailors, laundries, and restaurants—served the population. The Wah Chong Tai Company constructed its building in 1891 to house a mercantile stocked with a general line of Chinese goods, including porcelain, teas, and silk. In 1909, the company added the Mai Wah Noodle Parlor. The “beautiful, luxurious” noodle parlor occupied the second floor of the building.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian AmericansIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 46° 0.703′ N, 112° 32.13′ W. Marker is in Butte, Montana, in Silver Bow County. Marker is on West Mercury Street near South Colorado Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker
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is at or near this postal address: 17 West Mercury Street, Butte MT 59701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pekin Noodle Parlor (here, next to this marker); Push Saloon/Silver Dollar Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); 125-134 South Main (within shouting distance of this marker); Butte Daily Post Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Butte Tin Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Pleasant Alley and the Copper Block (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pleasant Alley (about 300 feet away); Walker's (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Butte.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Wah Chong Tai Mercantile -- Mai Wah Society. The Wah Chong Tai was Butte’s preeminent Chinese general store. The company was established about 1894, and moved into the present building when it was built in 1899. (Submitted on November 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 

2. Tong Wars -- Mai Wah Society. Because they made good newspaper copy, many conflicts between Chinese, even crimes with Chinese victims were labeled as tong wars. A brief item in the August 22, 1901 edition of the Anaconda Standard titled “Good-Bye to Pigtails,” mentioned the formation of a Chinese Reform Society of Butte to educate members of the Chinese community on “modern ways” which
Wah Chong Tai Company Buildin, Mai Wah Noodle Parlors and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 13, 2021
2. Wah Chong Tai Company Buildin, Mai Wah Noodle Parlors and Marker
The marker is at the right corner.
included cutting off queues and wearing their shirts tucked into their pants.
(Submitted on November 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 

3. Mai Wah Noodle Parlor. An unusual feature of this building, but one that is common in Victoria, British Columbia’s Chinatown, is a “cheater story,” a floor sandwiched between the first and second stories. Divided into a number of small rooms and with only about six feet of headroom, it apparently accommodated lodgers. (Submitted on November 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
The first Mai Wah Noodle Parlor Kitchen image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 13, 2021
3. The first Mai Wah Noodle Parlor Kitchen
The second Mai Wah Noodle Parlor kitchen image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 13, 2021
4. The second Mai Wah Noodle Parlor kitchen
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 21, 2024