On our short list of things to do in Butte, Ramona and I took a tour of the home of William Andrew Clark, a spectacular building known as The Copper King Mansion. We took a little sit in the back yard before touring and had a visit with one of the current residents of the house.
The mansion is used as a bed & breakfast, as well as an opportunity to learn, through tours, about local mining history and architecture, but having read reviews on Trip Advisor, I get the idea that this duo-function sometimes makes the bed and breakfast operation a little awkward for guests. I can’t imagine sleeping overnight in a place that houses so many ornate knick-knacks and has every surface covered with historical archives. Apparently, the best time to use the space as a Bed & Breakfast is on the off-season because you would not have to abandon the space in order to accommodate tours. I’m glad we were there for the tour.
I was most impressed by the wood and the architectural detail throughout the home, as well as the stories given about this family and their power and wealth, not just locally, but internationally.
The entryway. With diffused lighting and no flash, some of these photos are sketchy, but my readers will get the idea.
Hand-painted ceiling murals are original to the home.
This is the shower. Really?
The top floor serves as a museum of a wide variety of contents. One of these dresses was owned/worn by the original mistress of the house, but I’m forgetting which one.
Spectacles served for eye exams…below. Cool.
Our tour guide…still relying on notes…ended up chilling about half way through the tour when she realized we were going to go easy on her. lol
You can see that I took many photographs of things that we discovered in the top floor. I really wondered about the collections of Catholic vestments and treasured items. I wondered how they found themselves in this spot. “After Clark and his second wife passed on, the mansion was inherited by Clark’s son, who liked to gamble. Uh Oh! The mansion was sold to an outside person, who sold all the existing furniture that was in the mansion. After becoming this owner’s private residence, the mansion was eventually sold to the Catholic church and it became a home for the town’s Catholic nuns, who turned part of the top floor into a chapel, in the rooms off the ballroom area. The nuns didn’t appreciate the fresco which was painted on the ceiling of the master bedroom, so they painted over it. The mansion was put back on the market when the nuns moved out some years later, and stood vacant for 3 years.”
A penguin collection…of all things.
A doll collection.
This ‘fishing’ pattern of dishes was said to have been original to the Clark home.
As we departed, our friend was busy picking out dandelions before the rain.