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County Courthouse in Anaconda

Anaconda, county seat of Anaconda City/Deer Lodge Countymarker, is located in mountainous southwestern Montanamarker. The Continental Divide passes within 8 miles (13 km) of the community with the local Pintler Mountain range reaching 10,379 feet (3164 m). According to the 2004 US Census the population is 9,088, with a per capita personal income of $21,163 and a median household income of $26,305. It is the ninth biggest city in Montana. Central Anaconda is 5,335 feet (1626 m) above sea level, and is surrounded by the communities of Opportunity and West Valley.

The county area is 741 square miles (1,919 km²), characterized by densely timbered forestlands, lakes, mountains and recreation grounds. The county has common borders with Beaverhead, Butte-Silver Bow, Granite, Jefferson and Powell counties.


  • Elevation: 5335 ft (1,626 m)
  • Average annual rainfall: 14 inches (356 mm)
  • Average length of growing season: 114 days
  • Average annual snowfall: 6.0 inches (15 cm)
  • Average annual temperature: 43.0 °F (6.1 °C)


Anaconda was founded by Marcus Daly, one of the Copper Kings, who financed the construction of a smelter on nearby Warm Springs Creek to process copper ore from the Butte mines. In June 1883, Daly filed for a town plat for “Copperopolis,” but that name already graced a mining town in Meagher County. Instead, Daly named the town for his Anaconda Mine. The Anaconda Company expanded smelting capacity over time, and by 1919 the Washoe Reduction Works could boast that its 585-foot (178 m) smokestack (Anaconda Smelter Stackmarker) was the tallest masonry structure in the world and that the smelter-refining complex constituted the world’s largest nonferrous processing plant. In 1980, Atlantic Richfield Company closed the smelter, bringing an end to almost a century of mineral processing. Since then, an operation for environmental cleanup was put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency and executed with the assistance of ARCO. The multi-million dollar cleanup and investment has resulted in the formation of "Old Works" Golf Course, a championship 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.


  • Hunting - Many local establishments can provide hunting licenses for in-state and out of state hunters. There are hundreds of miles of hunting available to the public in the area. With permit, hunting is permitted for fowl, bear, mountain lion, elk, deer and moose, however only deer and elk hunting is allowed without application to the state hunting license draw.
  • Fishing - With the exception of many mountain lakes and streams, primary fishing spots include Silver Lake, Georgetown Lake, Echo Lake, Warm Springs Creek and the Big Hole River.
  • Golf - The Old Works Golf Course is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. The course provides affordable greens fees, professional private instruction, and an excellent course that is accommodating to the learning enthusiast or the golf professional. There is also a local country club and an 18 hole championship golf course located at Fairmont Hot Springs.
  • Skiing - With plentiful trails for cross country skiers, and the Discovery Ski Areamarker for downhill skiers Anaconda is an excellent place for the skiing enthusiast. The Discovery Ski Area also grooms 5 km of cross country ski trails. Discovery ski area boasts 15 downhill double black diamond trails.
  • Darts -The annual Winter Getaway dart tournament held in several local establishments draws as the largest regional dart tournament in the State of Montana
  • Museums - The Copper Village Museum and Arts Center provides visitors and residents with art and history of the local area.

Notable natives and residents

See also


  1. Aarstad, Rich, Ellie Arguimbau, Ellen Baumler, Charlene Porsild, and Brian Shovers. Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman. Montana Historical Society Press.

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