At the turn of the century life in the mining city of Butte, Montana was tough. Long difficult hours in dangerous mines made life short and strenuous. However, the difficulty of living brought out the best of people from all walks of life. The superior craftsmanship of these workers is evident in architecture all around Butte. It was a time when good enough was never good enough, unless it was your very best, and you could always do better. In 1896 a mining mogul and business leader William Andrews Clark, father of Huguette Clark, built Montana's first and only amusement park as his gift to the city. The beautifully crafted carousel was the heart of the Columbia Gardens. It operated for many years bringing families closer together and providing so much enjoyment.
Tragically, in the fall of 1973, the Columbia Gardens Amusement Park was destroyed by a devastating fire. The contents of the park, including all of the beautifully hand carved carousel horses were beyond salvage. Butte's beloved park was never to reopen.
It is the memory of this once wonder filled place, that brought so much of Butte together, that drives the passion of our volunteers today. We secured a physical site at Stodden Park for all of our beautiful, traditionally hand carved horses and chariots--and work is progressing on the lovely building that will house the carousel. Ask how you can be a part of this great organization or simply make a donation in any amount to help us bring this dream into a reality that generations of families can enjoy for years to come!