The town sprang up when the giant Anaconda Copper Mining Company of Butte needed a smelter for its vast amounts of copper ore. “Copper King” Marcus Daly chose the site in 1882 because of the ample supply of water and limestone nearby.
In 1980, the Anaconda Company shut down its smelter operation in Anaconda, putting an end to the town's historic economic base. The idle smokestack, which can be seen from the interstate, stands more than 585 feet high and measures 86 feet in diameter at the base. It is the tallest freestanding masonry structure in the world. The stack was declared a state monument by the 1985 Montana Legislature.
Visitor Center Complex: Learn about Anaconda's many attractions in a building that is a replica of an old train depot. ..Old City Hall Copper Village Museum and Art Center was built in 1895 of local materials. For years the Anaconda City Hall was the finest city hall in the Northwest. It housed all city government offices, the fire engine house and the police department. Renovated in 1982, the hall now houses a history museum, archives, an art gallery with changing exhibits, and shops. The museum displays include smelter memorabilia, turn-of-the-century clothing, furniture and a pharmacy.
Vintage Bus Tour: Tour historic Anaconda in a vintage 1936 White bus. This bus was originally used by the Anaconda Company to transport visitors through the copper smelter. Passengers view historic buildings and learn of the city's history.
Walking Tour: Tour Anaconda's three National Historic districts and view outstanding examples of turn-of-the-century architecture. The Deer Lodge County Courthouse is just one impressive structure. The ornate Washoe Theater is ranked fifth in the nation by The Smithsonian Institute. ..Old Works Golf Course: Play Montana's only Jack Nicklaus Signature course and enjoy a truly challenging experience. This unique course is an excellent result of remediation efforts by ARCO and Superfund.
Washoe Park and State Fish Hatchery: Relax and have fun in beautiful Washoe Park with its outdoor swimming pool, baseball field, tennis court, playground and picnic areas.
Washoe Park Trout Hatchery: The state's oldest, is located at the east end of the park. The hatchery is the home of our state fish, the cutthroat trout. It is presently undergoing a major renovation; displays are limited. Walk through self-guided tours or guided tours by special arrangement.
Georgetown Lake: Approximately 18 miles west of Anaconda, Georgetown Lake is a popular recreation area for boating, fishing, camping and windsurfing with access to lodging, restaurants, casinos and a marina. In the winter, it is used for ice fishing and snowmobiling. ..Pintler Scenic Route: This highway takes you over mountain passes to Anaconda and Philipsburg and along the shores of scenic Georgetown Lake. The peaks of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness form the backdrop. Georgetown Lake recreation area is a favorite spot for fishing and boating. Boat rentals are available. Off the Pintler Scenic Route are mining ghost towns and St. Timothy's Chapel, a non-denominational chapel that overlooks Georgetown Lake.
Southern Cross: A ghost town east of Georgetown Lake on MT Highway 1, this is another of Gold West Country's old mining camps. ..Fairmont Hot Springs: You'll find a lot to do at this year-round family resort located southeast of Anaconda. Natural hot springs are the big attraction, but Fairmont also offers an 18-hole golf course, waterslide, horseback riding, tennis and other activities. ..Lost Creek State Park: A scenic recreation and camping area with a short handicapped accessible walking trail to Lost Creek Falls and spectacular limestone cliffs that rise 1,200 feet above the canyon floor. Popular viewing area for mountain goats and bighorn sheep, who often stop to graze in this 500-acre canyon five miles north of Anaconda. A great spot for hiking and picnicking. ..Discovery Basin Ski Area: Discovery is located off Montana Highway 1 just 10 miles from Georgetown Lake. Discovery is a good place for the entire family to enjoy downhill skiing. It is serviced by three doubles and one triple chairlifts. There are more than 160 acres of trails with a total vertical drop of 1,300 feet. Discovery provides a separate beginner area and easy slopes for new skiers. For the experts the north side of the mountain offers more than 10 trails of extreme skiing. Instruction is available for adults and children with special kinderski classes for new skiers 3-6 years old. ..Mount Haggin: This is Montana's largest wildlife management area at 54,000 acres. Look for moose, elk, cranes and many other of the state's native species. Cross-country skiers make the trip here in the winter months. Go east out of Anaconda and then south to Wisdom.
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