The Mai Wah Museum
- Museums, Things to Do
- General info
When the history of Butte’s mining era is told, most of the focus is on the Irish. The Chinese played an important role as well. As the placer mining era declined, Chinese miners came to Butte to work the mines. As that work declined, they were relegated to work in laundries, domestic service, and noodle parlors. The Mai Wah and Wah Chong Tai buildings are adjacent to China Alley, a narrow thoroughfare that runs between Galena and Mercury Streets. In the building, you’ll see exhibits that interpret the history of Asians in Butte and the Rocky Mountain West.
The Mai Wah Society was established for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes, including research and public education about the history, culture, and conditions of Asian people in the Rocky Mountain West. The Mai Wah Society is the caretaker for Montana’s only authentic ceremonial parade dragon, a generous gift of the government of Taiwan to the people of Montana. Each summer an exhibit in the museum interprets aspects of the lives of Asian immigrants to the region.
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