Monday, June 24, 2013


I decided to stop in the fascinating little town of Butte, while en route to Missoula.  Montana has had a really unique vibe to it, and this town's roadside signs boasted a combination of really exciting opportunities. 

Butte contains a fascinating slice of history, that as an Asian Studies Major, I couldn't help but check out.
It contains one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States.
One of the most consistently glossed over historic realities of America's western expansion was the role in which the Asian immigrants (largely the Chinese) played as laborers. 
As much as 50% of the economic production and taxable wealth in most western states in the later decades of the 1800's, was derived by labor and payment of Chinese immigrants, despite the woeful working conditions, and the dramatic lack of equal rights under the law.

At points in the late 1800's as much as 70% of the farming labor was provided by Chinese immigrants.
The lasting impact on the role of the Chinese is still very much visible.  Many of the massive public works projects, as well as many of the buildings erected via Chinese Labor, stand to this day.  Other simple realities were equally poignant reminders.  The "Oldest Restaurant" in Montana happens to be this little chop-suey house in Butte.  Within this small town in Montana, I happened across a little gem of a museum, the Mai Wah Museum.

 Chinatown wasn't the only lunch option available in Butte, though.

John's Pork Chop, a famous little BBQ house made its pitch to procure our business...

But it was Gus's Lunch Grill, that eventually caught Gus's keen eyes.

On our way out of town, we happened across a herd of Elk that was SO big, I couldn't capture it in the frame of my camera.  Gus was sad that he had eaten so much.

Next Stop:   Grissly Country - U Montana

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