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Friday, May 27

Montana (Hank Williams Jr)

(scroll to bottom for unit study)  
We left Yellowstone National Park and chose Couer d'Alene as our sightseeing destination in Idaho. But when you're towing your home on wheels, this drive was too long for us to make in a single day. So we planned a short stop and stay in Butte, Montana. We had no idea what we were going to see and learn on "the Richest Hill on Earth."  Our first stop in Butte was the Visitor Information Center, where we learned about the history and geology of this area and the importance of mining to this area, and to our nation's economy.
 At the Visitor Center, we learned that:
  • the town of Butte is located at an elevation of 5,538 feet and sits within the Rocky Mountains and straddles the Continental Divide
  • in Butte, gold was discovered in 1864; silver was found in 1874; and copper was discovered in the 1880s
  • there are many different mining methods
  • the town of Butte once produced more than 1/2 of our countries and more than 1/4 of the world's copper which has earned Butte the distinction as "the richest hill on earth"
Excited to learn more about mining, our family headed to the Granite Mountain Mine Memorial, where we learned about the worst hard rock mining disaster in the US which occurred here in 1917.
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We felt the hazards of mining as we stood on location and read information about this tragic day in our nation's history of mining.  Not wanting to end our school day, we made one more stop in Butte.
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We stopped at Berkeley Pit, where we read, learned, and discussed:
  • different mining techniques like underground mining, block cave mining, open pit mining, and vein mining
  • the advantages and disadvantages of each mining technique for the mining companies, the miners, and our environment
  • environmental hazard sites and the responsibilities of mining companies to protect and restore the environment
Our family had no idea how much we'd learn in Butte, Montana!

Montana State Unit Study

Robin is a wife, homeschool mom, and blogger. She has been homeschooling for 14 years and has
recently started a blog,, to help other homeschool families. In 2011-2012, Robin and her family took a year-long RV Road Trip across the USA. She blogs about their travel adventure
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