Guide to Historic Hamilton
History of Bitterroot and Hamilton Told
Copper Kings and women in goat-drawn carts are part of the Bitterroot valley's past that come to life in the Montana Historical Society Press's A Guide to Historic Hamilton.
The book, written by Chere Jiusto of the Society's State Historic Preservation Office, is the fourth in the Press's Montana Mainstreets series.
The book includes a lively text, maps, and historic photographs of the town founded in 1890 by Cooper King Marcus Daly, whose Anaconda Company sawmill and private Bitter Root Stock Farm dominated the community through the late nineteenth century.
Like all the Mainstreets guides, Guide to Historic Hamilton provides an easy-to-read and understandable introduction to the history of a unique Montana community through a look at its historic buildings
The legacy of Hamilton's rich history can be seen in the Georgian-style Colonial-revival mansion built by Daly's wife Margaret, which is among the most magnificent homes in Montana; the collegiate Gothic-style Rocky Mountain Laboratory, where scientists battled against Rocky Mountain spotted fever; and dozens of other historical buildings and homes.
Alongside stories of Hamilton's well-known citizens are stories of people like Martha Reinkeh, who lived in the 1880s in what is believed to be the oldest house still standing in the town today.
Known by locals as a cantankerous eccentric, Reinkeh traveled in a goat-drawn cart until her goat was shot after butting a businessman through a store window.
Doug Johnson, director of the Daly Mansion, brought the community together on the project and helped raise money to fund it. Russ Lawrence, charter member of the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust, wrote an afterword for the book that focuses on the future of the community.
The 74-page book includes 44 historic photographs, 11 maps, and other illustrations and sells for $9.95, as do the other books in the series. It is available in bookstores or can be ordered directly plus shipping and handling by calling toll-free 1-800-243-9900.