Copper King Mansion
Spirits avoid the no-nonsense owner who would find ways to put them to work.
A mischievous spirit plays jokes on the susceptible, providing maximum chuckles!
A spirit or two are better behaved and just find quiet ways to enjoy the mansion.
DESCRIPTION / HISTORY
William Andrews Clark started off his adult life going to law school for two years, taught school in Missouri for a year before getting bit by the gold bug in 1862. He and a friend headed for Bannack and worked a claim for 2 years before selling it.
His true genius was in the art of being a business entrepreneur. He began by hauling supplies to mining camps and evolved into helping minors manage their findings. He made his fortune through recording claims for miners and making loans based on their claims. His many mining and banking activities started his personal fortune flowing, which at its height at about 17 million dollars a month! By 1900, he was one of the wealthiest men in the world, having a fortune around $50,000,000.
Of course, Clark put this fortune to good use! Besides being generous to a variety of charities and the Presbyterian church in Butte, he invested more money in business opportunities. He owned 97% of the Jerome mine in Arizona and had bought mines in Butte as well! He owned newspapers, sugar plantations and a large sugar factory in Los Angeles. He also was instrumental in the founding of Las Vegas. He owned the W.A. Clark Wire Company and the New York based Henry Bonnard Bronze Company, among many other businesses.
Clark built mansions in several other cities; including New York, Santa Barbara, Washington DC and Paris, France. However, the town of Butte became the family residence. By the 1880s, he and his beloved first wife, Katherine had 6 children and a need for a large place. In 1888 this glorious 34-room brick Elizabethan Victorian mansion was complete and Clark and his family moved in! This mansion in Butte was a real showpiece of his wealth, costing him half-million dollars; But it was money well-spent!
Tom and I stayed here in the summer and took the tour. It is the most beautiful mansion we’ve seen! The floors were made of inlaid wood, and the woodwork was hand carved throughout the mansion. One also sees stained glass windows, frescoed ceilings and lovely antique furnishings. The top floor housed a 64 foot ballroom, complete with its own organ. The bathroom on the second floor not only has a glorious huge claw-foot bath tub, but also has a unique shower which squirts water from all directions! Many of the rooms have lovely hand-carved and customized mantelpieces, each designed by European craftsmen especially for this mansion, and each from a different wood.
Katharine died in 1893. Clark remarried in 1901 to a lovely woman, Anna Lachapelle, with whom he had two daughters. One of these girls died of meningitis at the age of 17, but the other daughter is still going strong, living in New York.
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.
The new owners started at once to clean out the cob-webs and dust, and began to renovate the mansion to its former glory. While the owners were able to buy back some of the original antiques owned by the Clark family, many other antiques similar to the ones which existed in that era were purchased. Also the owner loved to have collections, which today are still here on display, including dolls, hats, toys, clocks, demitasse cups and steins.
To raise some money, this owner opened up a restaurant in the main dining room which she ran for many years. The mansion has stayed in the family since then. The granddaughter (who is a great hostess & cook) and grandson (who helps with the upkeep) now own the Copper King Mansion and run a Bed and Breakfast here throughout the year. Tours are given to the general public: May – September.
Though the very personable owner of this Bed and Breakfast mansion stated that there are no entities in this absolutely glorious mansion, others have reported:
Feeling the presence of a cold entity hanging around in the game room.
A cheery presence is felt in the old chapel and ballroom, and can be a bit of a tease with people who are fearful of spirits. A former tour guide would fit the bill pretty well. Among all the tour guides, she was the one who was picked to be the recipient of the entities’ antics.
A light-colored hazy fog like apparition likes to float around the basement and the first floor hallway.
In the top floor in the 64 foot ballroom, the owner had cleaned out an old trunk one morning, leaving it shut. During an afternoon tour, this tour guide who used to give tours to the public and guests, was explaining about the ball room area.
The lid of the trunk flew up all by itself, scaring the tour guide, and startling the other people. This tour guide seemed to be the one the entities enjoyed getting their chuckles from because this person reacted so beautifully, being a little scared of ghosts!
It depends on who one talks to. The entities know better than to cut up with the owner, a very good business person who runs a tight ship with her employees, and certainly wouldn’t put up with antics! Like mischievous children, other people seem to get their attention; like nervous tour guides or guests. People with psychic abilities have felt presences though no psychic research has been done.
219 West Granite Street
The Copper King Mansion can be found 2 block north of Park Street, near the corner of West Granite Street and North Montana Street, not a far walk from the courthouse area.
- Haunted Places: The National Directory
by Dennis William Hauk, 2002
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr