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Mac Taylor  Field Notebook Entry 6/19/2013

Even after all the things we’ve seen and done, I think our tour of Butte might has been my favorite so far. (And I promise it’s not just because I grew up there.) We’ve seen some amazing things in our time looking into the dark corners hidden beneath Missoula, but where the spaces under Missoula were often filled in and abandoned, a lot of the spaces under Butte were just covered up and forgotten about, waiting for someone to stumble upon them.

                We have so many questions about the Missoula underground: Where were these spaces? Who used them and how? And why were they abandoned in so many instances?

                Touring Butte helped us to find some answers and draw some parallels between our own sites and those of Butte. Learning the history of Butte’s Chinese and the Mai Wah helps us to ask the right questions about Missoula’s Chinese population, and the locations and legends surrounding them.  Every new basement we set foot in, every little nook and cranny we shine our lights on uncovers vital insights to our past, but every time we uncover some piece of the past we end up with more questions. It’s amazing to think how close the past is. It’s right beneath our feet.

 

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