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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Anaconda in Deer Lodge County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Contributions of the Washoe Smelter

 
 
Contributions of the Washoe Smelter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2016
1. Contributions of the Washoe Smelter Marker
Inscription. The fortunes of copper mining and smelting and associated enterprises were subject to the boom and bust cycles typical of metals-based industries. World and national events affected rapid fluctuation in the supply, demand, and price of copper.

To gain control and stabilize the transportation cost of ore and processed copper, Marcus Daly incorporated the Butte, Anaconda, and Pacific (BA&P) Railroad Company. Although established to service the mines and smelters, this rail line also played a vital role in the economic and social development of the area communities. By 1903, the railroad transported 500 cars per day between Butte and Anaconda, and by 1906, had hauled 2,700,000 tons of industrial products, in addition to passengers and freight. Rail lines were extended west to mining districts, including Georgetown and Southern Cross. In 1912, the BA&P became the first railroad in the nation to be electrified, and by 1917, was carrying nearly 1,000 commuters per day.

With World War I on the horizon, the demand for copper increased, along with its price. In 1916, copper prices rose from 18 cents per pound to 33 cents per pound. Following World War I, the demand for copper fell and the railway businesses slumped. In 1925, the tracks west to the mining districts were abandoned.

During the early years of World
Marker photo: Anaconda women joined the ranks of America’s “Rosie the Riveters” during World War II image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Anaconda Historical Society Archives
2. Marker photo: Anaconda women joined the ranks of America’s “Rosie the Riveters” during World War II
War II, the country experienced a severe labor shortage. United States defense industries called on the women of the country to temporarily take jobs that were traditionally held by men. Initially, the Mill and Smeltermen's Union resisted the idea of women holding jobs at the smelter. In 1943, the union provided management with a list of jobs it felt could be handled by women. After the U.S. Employment Service began to make arrangements to import foreign workers, the union modified their objections to employing women. However, they stood firm and negotiated an agreement to protect seniority rights of men returning to work from military service.

Over 70 women were employed at the Washoe Smelter during World War II and in the initial post-war months. These women, like thousands across the nation, contributed by stepping into the positions vacated by their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, who were serving in the military.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
 
Location. 46° 7.384′ N, 112° 55.859′ W. Marker is in Anaconda, Montana, in Deer Lodge County. Marker is on Anaconda Smelter Road (East 4th Street) ¼ mile south of Park Avenue (Pintler Veterans Memorial Scenic Hwy) (State Highway 1), on
Marker photo: BA&P electrified railway carried ore from the Butte mines to the Anaconda smelters image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Anaconda Historical Society Archives
3. Marker photo: BA&P electrified railway carried ore from the Butte mines to the Anaconda smelters
the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in Anaconda Smelter Stack State Park, along the circular walkway around the smelter stack exhibit, just east of the parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Anaconda Smelter Road, Anaconda MT 59711, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Smelting the Ore (a few steps from this marker); Goosetown Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Organized Labor (a few steps from this marker); Washoe Stack Facts (within shouting distance of this marker); Preserving the Washoe Smelter Stack (within shouting distance of this marker); Marcus Daly - An Irishman with Vision (within shouting distance of this marker); Butte-Anaconda Historic District (approx. 1.2 miles away); Deer Lodge County Courthouse (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anaconda.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, framed, laser-printed metal plaque, mounted horizontally on a waist-high metal post.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Butte-Anaconda National Historic Landmark District
 
Also see . . .  Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway.
Contributions of the Washoe Smelter Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2016
4. Contributions of the Washoe Smelter Marker (wide view)
The history of the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway begins in 1893 when it was founded by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. While owned by the copper company the BA&P essentially operated as a common-carrier system hauling general freight and passengers along with its copper traffic. Its main line from Butte to Anaconda was 25.7 miles in length. The BA&P began services with traditional steam locomotives, however, after 1910 the railroad decided to electrify much of its property. BA&P during peak operations owned and operated a total of 135 miles of track, which included aside from the main line; yards, branches, spurs, and industrial trackage. Of this, 75 miles were electrified. GE furnished the railroad its motive power, small boxcab motors eventually reaching a total of 18 units. (Submitted on January 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World IIWomen
 
Anaconda Smelter Stack Exhibit (<i>marker is located along walkway, on north side of the ring</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2016
5. Anaconda Smelter Stack Exhibit (marker is located along walkway, on north side of the ring)
Anaconda Smelter Stack State Park (<i>turn here to access exhibit and marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2016
6. Anaconda Smelter Stack State Park (turn here to access exhibit and marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 2, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on January 2, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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