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Mining

Summer 2003

Anaconda: Labor, Community and Culture in Montana's Smelter City

Anaconda, in southwest Montana, was home to the world’s largest copper smelter. Marcus Daly established the first smelter in 1884. In 1980, the last plant closed its doors. Anaconda deals primarily with the community from the 1930s through the 1970s, and focuses on social life, work, unions, and the role of women in an industrialized western town.

An associate professor of history at Washington State University at Vancouver, Laurie Mercier undertook much of the research for Anaconda while she served as state oral historian for Montana.

The strength of Mercier’s work is her attention to women. She doesn’t ignore the male story, but she continually … » More …

Fall 2006

Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885

Bunker Hill finally has a book worthy of its story. BH, during its heyday, was one of the nation’s most important mining and smelting operations, and wielded unprecedented influence over Idaho politics. At the time it closed in 1981 it produced 15 percent of America’s silver and zinc, and 17 percent of its lead. Much has been written about BH. But this is the first book to encapsulate its entire history, from lode discovery to company closure.

Aiken weaves together many stories. Hers is one of the best tellings of the oft-romanticized origins of the mine that Noah Kellogg’s donkey might or might not have … » More …