finding booty in butte

the town of butte, montana doesn’t come to mind as an important city in cultural american history. but in its heyday, around the turn of the 20th century, butte was one of the most diverse cities in the nation and the copper capital of the world.

copper bowl in butte

prosperity continued in butte until the 1950s, when mining practices switched from underground mining to open pit mining. the money ran out in 1983 when copper mining had stripped the area of its natural resource and left a polluted superfund site in its wake. butte is a like a ghost town today. people live there, but not many of them.


what remains in butte (besides a beautiful toxic lake) is amazing art deco architecture with an abundance of copper fixtures and furnishings within and lots of antiques shops.


one store in particular, rediscoveries, is special because the owner has been hoarding designer collections from high fashion ladies for decades. not only can you find amazing vintage clothing and textiles in his shop, but he also carries a small but tasteful array of mid-century housewares, including pyrex bowls and colorful frosted glasses from the 1960s. the shop is open during the week and most saturdays, but it’s best to call first as the owner sometimes brings his collection to vintage shows on the weekends.

after trying on clothes for hours, my lady friends and i wandered around downtown butte, perusing the other antiques stores. i came across a 1920s hoosier cabinet. it stunk like cigarettes, and had a sticky film all over it. but i fell in love, and brought it home the next weekend. after a little cleaning and paint, it now holds my specialty glassware, platters and tablecloths. at the time i thought i was a little crazy for buying it, but i am so happy its mine.


if you find yourself passing through butte on i90, don’t forget to stop.


  1. Patricia May 19

    Is the hoosier type cabinet in the picture for sale? If so how much? What would shipping cost? I am in Nevada. Thank you for your time.

    1. erin vito December 19

      Patricia, Sorry, I just now saw your comment. No, the cabinet isn’t for sale. It’s in my home holding my treasures! Thanks, erin

  2. Melissa December 9

    I too found a cabinet similar to yours. Can’t wait until I get it cleaned up and repainted. However the issue I’m having is with an old mid century desk. It reeks of cigarette smoke. We didn’t notice the smell until we got home. We just thought the seller didn’t want anyone in their house so they brought it outside for pickup.
    I was sure I could get it out Plus I had already fallen in love with it.

    1. erin vito December 9

      Melissa, I left my cabinet outside for several weeks, then cleaned and repainted it. I’m happy to report that the cigarette smell is gone! Best of luck with your desk.

  3. Liz Applegate November 20

    Can you tell me the name of the antique store where you found this treasure? We live near Butte and love to browse in “uptown” Butte! Thanks!

    1. erin vito March 23

      Liz, I don’t remember the name of the shop now, but it’s right in downtown Butte.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>