Illuminations

High above the skyline rise the headframes of mines, dotting the landscape as reminders of Butte’s past.

Thanks to the work of several miners, artists, and community-minded folks, the headframes are iconic at night, too. They are visible for miles thanks to the donated red lighting.

John T. Shea worked for years in the mines as a ropesman and driver, along with a host of other jobs. He is a moving force behind Lighten UP, Butte! which aims to preserve the heritage of Butte’s mines while beautifying the city. He and Barbara Kornet told the story of how the headframes were lit. One of Barb’s favorite memories is of being hundreds of feet up in the air with the old Butte miners, getting a headframe ready for its makeover.



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