The Bell of Butte

March 05, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Belle in the SnowBelle in the SnowThe Bell-Diamond, Butte. Montana. February 27, 2021. 2021 seems barely to have gotten underway, but it is already March. Daylight savings will start next week and our days are definitely longer than last month's. Butte, Montana, is enjoying a melting event with afternoon temperatures in the mid-forties... and there are a few hints about upcoming afternoon temps in the fifties.

It is hard to believe, but it is time to start thinking about 2022, at least enough to begin gathering photos for the 2022 Butte Head Frames calendar. Here is a photo of the Bell-Diamond head frame captured on February 27 that might be a good calendar cover. The photo point is a narrow gap in the fencing that requires a portrait aspect ratio--and the calendar cover requires a portrait photo.

When I captured the image, we were in an intense snow squall with a little light from the late-day sun sneaking in from the right. The flying snow added texture to the structure and the filtered sunlight created a 'sepia' tone. 

The Bell-Diamond, Butte, Montana operated 1882-1928. The main shaft is 3,609 feet deep and underground workings connected the Bell Mine (its shaft was about 500 feet to the left) to the Diamond Mine. The head frame was one of the earliest steel frames on the Butte Hill, was built in about 1890, and is 90+/- feet tall. It is the only gallus frame on the Butte Hill to sport curved gussets at its major structural joints giving it a somewhat 'swanky' look.

Thanks for reading!


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