"Best Tour Company for 2009"
Rocky Mountain International Roundup History Channel Visits Montana Film Office Writer's Weekend
July 4 parade winner Denny Dutton Stephens Hotel Makeover Great Train Robbery

OBHA named best tour company

Old Butte Historical Adventures has been named the people's choice winner of True West Magazine's Best Tour Company for 2009! We're proud and pleased and honored.

July 4 Parade Prize Winner

click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Butte's annual Fourth of July Parade down Harrison Avenue past thousands of people included a first-time entry from Old Butte Historical Adventures. The float - a well-decorated flat-bed trailer - had representations of all our museums, from Mrs. Peacock (the Stephens Hotel) to Bob McMurry (our own Cabbage Patch kid). Porthos the bulldog sported a bowler hat as the Mayor of Main Street, and most of our guides were on board in costume, complete with props appropriate to the barber shop, brothel, tin shop, speakeasy, jail, and lawyer's office.

The OBHA float took home the first prize in the commercial division for a Locally Built Float. Thanks to everyone!

The Great Train Robbery

The inaugural run of the Copper King Express Tourist Train, carrying Montana's Governor, US Senator, and numerous other dignitaries was interrupted by renegades from Butte before the train was fairly out of the Anaconda area. With the Anaconda Stack in the background, at least four armed and dangerous robbers, well known to local law enforcement as the Byrnes-Dutton Gang, held the passengers at gunpoint and threatened them (the pretty ones, at least) with kidnapping if they did not surrender their valuables.

Early reports indicate that the bandits made off with at least $2.17 in change, but one train worker managed to relieve the thief known as Long-Haired Eric of his pocketknife, during a struggle. Besides the ringleaders, Yellowjacket Byrnes and Denny "The Rifle" Dutton, Long-Haired Eric and Duster were among the known gang members in on the raid.

Such attacks have become all too common on the Anaconda-to-Butte run, since it is well known that the train is frequented by wealthy associates of local copper kings. The President of the railway vowed to track the culprits down, even if it takes all summer. There are rumors that the rail line plans to hire Joe LaFors, the noted lawman who tracked down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on behalf of Mr. E. H. Harriman of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Despite the ever-present threat of such nefarious activities, compliments of Old Butte Historical Adventures, the Copper King Express plans runs every Friday and Saturday through the summer, and many trips are already sold out. Some say that thrill-seekers, drawn by the mere possibility of a train robbery, are among the patrons.

Stephens Hotel Gets A Makeover

The Stephens Hotel, one of Old Butte Historical Adventures' primary museums, received a new coat of paint in May 2006, thanks to the financial support of the Butte CPR, Butte-Silver Bow Urban Revitalization Agency, and Mainstreet Uptown Butte. Most of the painting was done by Denny Dutton and Norm DeNeal. This effort really dresses up one of Butte's most prominent uptown corners, and one of Uptown Butte's most significant historical buildings.

The complex tin-work cornice and turret, dating to 1891, were all painted, including the copper top of the turret; window frames that had been practically bare of paint for decades are now a deep forest green. The stone sills between and below the windows, made from local Butte granite, have also been renovated, and boarded up windows now contain new panes of glass. Montana Standard article

You can see the exterior renovations any time, but to experience the interior and hear the story of Miss Willie Lindell, take our West Walking Tour.

Rocky Mountain International Roundup

March 30-31, 2006 saw about 100 members of Rocky Mountain International, a 4-state regional association of tour managers, hoteliers, and others in the hospitality business assemble in Butte for their convention. Guests at the meeting included about 30 travel professionals from France, Germany, the U.K., Netherlands, and elsewhere - many of them visiting Butte for the first time.

Old Butte Historical Adventures showed them a grand time, with private tours of the Speakeasy, and guide Denny Dutton's commentary on a private trolley ride around town.

This was a great opportunity to showcase Butte for the people who direct tourists to our area, and will likely bear fruit with increased visitation later this summer.



History Channel Visits

In June 2005 Old Butte Historical Adventures was visited by a film crew from the History Channel. They were shooting for a film that aired beginning in October 2005 called The Big Build, a history of prohibition and the story of building a speakeasy in Chicago.

In addition to footage of the Rookwood Speakeasy in Butte, the film includes an interview with Mike Byrnes, partner in Old Butte Historical Adventures.

Go to the Rookwood Speakeasy page




Montana Film Office Visit

Bill Kuney, from the Montana Film Office, came to Old Butte Historical Adventures to capture photographs of their interiors to be sent to film companies that would be interested in filming in Butte.

Writer's Weekend

40 Travel writers and photographers from 17 states and Canada convened in Butte on a recent weekend to discover our hidden treasures and see what Butte was like in its heyday. The group toured Old Butte Historical Adventures' museums and visited with local residents.


Historic Guide Center 117 North Main Street Butte, MT 59701 (406) 498-3424 E-mail Links