Throwback Thursday: Unlocking the history of Butte’s long forgotten underground speakeasy
Here’s a fun through back Thursday for you: One the most popular stories of 2014 (so far) the mysterious and wonderful tale of the long forgotten Rookwood Speakeasy uncovered underground in Uptown Butte.
Butte wasn’t necessarily a place that was pro-prohibition. For instance:
“It is estimated,” The Butte Miner reported, “that 150 gallons of whiskey, 1,500 bottles of beer and 30 gallons of wine were destroyed by the hue and cry.”
“The agents, taking advantage of the evening rush hour of thirst quenchers, had little difficulty in entering any of the places,” The Anaconda Standard added. Arrested at the Rookwood was infamous bootlegger and moonshiner Curly McFarland.
The full story is up now.
Take a look: Our winter issue is out and ready to read
If you haven’t already received the Jan/Feb issue in your mailbox, we just added all the preview content to our new site. You’ll notice right on the homepage our new cover photo star, a snowy bobcat that photographers Lisa and Jaime Johnson found outside Bonner.
The Johnsons shot the Portfolio for this winter issue – an incredible set of photos that highlight some of Montana’s favorite wildlife characters.
Throughout this issue we highlight the southwestern part of the state, with stories about Huguette Clark, the Star Theatre in Whitehall, and one I think you’ll really love: A look at the Rookwood Speakeasy in Butte.
The Rookwood was a happening place during the Prohibition Era. That was until the Feds came to town and the Rookwood was locked and abandoned until a curious Butte resident discovered it years later. I’ll post more about the Rookwood here in the coming weeks.
We’ve got lots of other online extras, too. Including more about Tejay van Garderen, a Bozeman kid who is now a contender to win the Tour de France. Watch some videos about Tejay and learn more about his life as a pro cyclist.
A look into the future
We’ve got some good things cooking at MT Magazine as we head into 2014.
Our transition for Helena headquarters to Missoula is complete and planning for the next six issues is in full swing. (A year can go by pretty quickly when you break it up into 6 chunks!)
We’re already working to get the January/February issue ready – it’s due to the printer by Dec. 13. Megan, our amazing art director, is the one who puts all the pages together for us.
She’s working hard on that now and take it from me, it’s looking good.
Our first issue will feature several stories from everyone’s favorite Montana city, Butte (one of my favorites at least).
Ever visited the Rookwood Speakeasy? It’s a long lost bar that was abandoned during a Prohibition raid by the federal government. Patrons left their hats and coats there in the chaos.
More than 70 years later, the speakeasy was uncovered – the poker chips were still on the table.
Now, it’s a part of a historical tour of Butte.
We’ve also got a review of the book “Empty Mansions,” about the mysterious life of Huguette Clark. Her fortune was worth millions thanks to her copper king father, W.A. Clark, yet she lived for the last several decades of her life inside a lone room at a New York City hospital.
As for later issues, we’ve got some really cool things planned. Ever heard of Casey Anderson or his bear Brutus? Know anything about sugar beets? (Hint: its one of the biggest crops that comes to Billings to be processed).
Our May/June issue will feature stories from Central Montana. Our July/August issue will focus on Glacier Country.
But that’s still a ways out. Stay tuned for more…