Because it had ample water and was surrounded by one of the world's richest copper deposits, Anaconda was chosen for the site of a copper smelter by the originator of Montana's copper industry, Marcus Daly. Daly, an Irish immigrant who was a manager of a mine in Utah, bought the mine when it was thought worthless after the silver lode ran out. Daly saw the mine's potential in its copper reserves—with the invention of the telephone and telegraph, copper wire was in high demand. By the time Daly died in 1900, he was one of the world's richest men.
Daly also founded the nearby town of Hamilton, where he spent summers with his family. Today all that is left of Daly's smelter is the 585-foot smokestack, which can be viewed at Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park on Anaconda Smelter Road.
A number of buildings from the 1800s remain, including the Deer Lodge County Courthouse, 800 S. Main St.; City Hall Center at 401 E. Commercial Ave.; Hearst Free Library at E. Fourth and Main streets; and St. Mark's Episcopal Church, corner of E. Sixth and Main streets. Anaconda's architecture spans Romanesque to Victorian styles. At 305 Main St. is the Art Deco, neoclassical 1931 Washoe Theatre.
A popular scenic highway, SR 1, begins in Anaconda and heads west over Flint Creek Pass.
Anaconda Visitor's Center & Chamber of Commerce 306 E. Park Ave. ANACONDA, MT 59711. Phone:(406)563-2400
The visitor's center offers a map describing a walking tour of the historic district; the fee is $2.