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Butte celebrates completion of memorial honoring those lost in 1895 warehouse explosion

Memorial honors lives lost in Butte warehouse explosion of 1895
Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 14:17:02-05

BUTTE — Butte firefighters, police, and members of a local history group braved the bitter cold on Monday afternoon to remember the lives lost in a devastating explosion and fire that took place almost 130 years ago in the Mining City’s warehouse district.

The Kenyon-Connell Warehouse fire of 1895 took the lives of all but two Butte firefighters when illegal dynamite exploded.

Also lost to the fire were dozens of citizens, one police officer, horses, and a loyal dog.

While it was immediately mourned by the community at the time, the event became lost to history until a group of amateur historians and members of the Butte-Silver Bow Archives staff began work on a memorial several years ago.

About 100 people gathered on Jan. 15 outside of the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department to celebrate the completion of the memorial that features the work of Montana artist Jim Dolan. The memorial also features several plaques and monuments with the names of those who were lost in the disaster.

“Finally, something that happened a long time ago is going to be remembered forever now with this memorial,” says Jim McCarthy of Butte Historical Memorials Inc.

The memorial is in front of the Butte fire station on the corner of South Idaho and West Mercury streets in Uptown Butte.

Visit the Butte-Silver Bow Archives for more information including the names of those lost in the Kenyon-Connell Warehouse Explosion of 1885.