Montana

One of the last operating lead smelters in the country, the East Helena Plant was finally shut down in April 2001. The 141-acre plant, which opened in 1888, produced around 750 tons of lead bullion per day, as well as the marketable by-product sulfuric acid....

Large open pit copper mine with over 17 billion gallons of wastewater contaminated from mining operations. The pit and much of the surrounding mines and smelting areas, including the Anaconda area and the 120-mile long Clark Fork River drainage area, have...

Great Falls Montana gets its name from five nearby waterfalls along the Missouri River, all of which have been drowned or altered by dams and power plants, including the one closest to town, at Black Eagle Falls. In the 19th century, this was the upper limit...

The Chief Mountain Crossing is the easternmost mountainous crossing on the 49th Parallel, and it is closed in the winter months, usually for more than half the year. The US Port of Entry is in a park-style building, suitable as the crossing is...

This is a lightly traveled crossing, with a new-style US Port of Entry, and some housing for the border officers. It also has an airport, with a grass landing strip directly on the line. Some of these line-straddling airports were used in the early years of...

One of six radon health mines in this part of Montana, which apparently are the only active radon health mines in the United States. The Earth Angel, a former gold mine, has the strongest concentration of radon gas, limiting users to 20 visits at a stretch (...

The Flathead/Trail Creek crossing closed in 1996, following flooding damage to the road north. The former Ports of Entry buildings on either side are unused, and in disrepair. This is a very remote crossing, on dirt roads, on the west side of...

Largest volume embankment dam in the USA (96,050,000 cubic meters), the second largest in the world (follows Tarbela Dam in Pakistan -- 148,500,000 cubic meters).

Visitors to this former uranium mine enter the ionizing inhalatorium, to receive the healthful effects of the naturally occurring (and naturally radioactive) radon gas, said to be a wonder cure for numerous ailments. One of a half-dozen or so similar radon...

The Libby Dam was completed in 1975, and flooded the Kootenai River valley forming a narrow lake 90 miles long, extending 42 miles into Canada. The name Koocanusa was invented for the man-made lake, and is a combination of Kootenai, Canada, and USA. The dam...

One of six radon health mines in this part of Montana, which apparently are the only active radon health mines in the United States. This is the smallest of the six.

A base supporting the 50 local Minuteman III ICBM missile silos. This base removed the last Minuteman II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in the Air Force's inventory from its silo in 1995, as part of a major arms reduction treaty. Much of the other Air Force...

An inactive gold mine which naturally emits radon gas, that has been developed into a healing center, with benches lining the 500 foot long shaft to accomodate visitors. The proprietors tout the cleansing effects of radon, and recommend 40 one hour-long...

This is a reservoir contaminated with mining waste, including high concentrations of arsenic. Mining sediments from the mines at Anaconda and Butte flowed downstream and became concentrated in the sediment behind the dam. The reservoir is part of the largest EPA...

All of Montana was measured from this nameless hill in the southwestern part of the state, ten miles southwest of the headwaters of the Missouri River. It is one of 37 federal survey points of origin covering the USA (outside of the 13 original colonies),...

Some golf courses, especially municipal ones, are built on landfills or other unstable, undevelopable land. The Old Works course, in Anaconda, was built on the site of a copper smelter, the Upper Works plant, which processed ore from the mine at Butte,...

A 90-foot white statue of Mary, Mother of Jesus, located on a 8,510 foot mountain, looming over the vast open pit mines of Butte. The statue, which is lit up at night, was constructed by volunteers using donated materials, and was completed in 1985.

The Piegan/Carway crossing is the third busiest crossing in Montana, on a highway connecting Calgary to Glacier National Park. There is government housing for the workers of the US Port of Entry, with twenty houses. The old US Port of Entry, built in a log-...

A complex of above ground and underground buildings in remote southwest Montana, constructed by the religious organization known as the Church Universal and Trimphant (CUT), whose worldwide membership was once estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 people. In the late...

An inactive mine which naturally emits radon gas, that has been developed into a healing center, with tables and chairs set up to accomodate visitors. The proprietors tout the cleansing effects of radon, and recommend 32 sessions in the mine every year for...

The Sweetgrass/Coutts crossing is the busiest crossing in Montana. Southbound is Interstate 15, which runs to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, and northbound Highway 2 goes to Lethbridge and Calgary. The boundary separates the town of Sweetgrass, Montana, and...

Several (more than three) explosions detonated five to six feet below the surface, by the late Dennis Oppenheim in 1977. Craters four to twelve feet in diameter. He called them "knuckle marks left on the earth." Apparently, no traces are visible.

The Turner/Climax border crossing has one of the few "joint facilities," where both the Canadian and US Ports of Entry are contained in one building, and the building is directly split by the boundary. With inspection lanes on either side, the building has...

This remote campground is on the international boundary, on the shore of Upper Waterton Lake. It is accessible only by foot trails, or by boat from Canada. It is on one of a few hiking trails that cross the international boundary in Glacier Park. Glacier Park...

With just a few cars a day, the Whitetail/Big Beaver crossing, was one of the least used crossings on the entire continental USA/Canada border, so it was closed a few years ago. The Canadian Port of Entry was demolished after it was closed in 2011, and the...