Daly Mansion

August 29, 2016  •  2 Comments

I wanted to share some photos of the Daly Mansion (just outside of Hamilton, MT) which we toured while we were camping as part of the Celtic Festival that was held on the grounds that weekend (more on that to come).   I have to apologize for not having pictures in any of the cool rooms on the first floor but the sign outside said "No Photos" and apparently I missed the little * that said no FLASH photos.  So I didn't start taking any until we were up on the second floor.  That means you get to see bedrooms and bathrooms since by the time I got back down to the main floor there were too many people milling about to get good stuff.   The inside shots are all iphone shots just in case you wondered.

So a little history (to see the whole story go to http://dalymansion.org/):

Marcus Daly was born December 5, 1843 in county Caven, Ireland, the youngest of eleven children of an Irish farm family. Like most immigrants of the time, Marcus arrived in New York in 1856 with few belongings, very little money and a limited education and job skills. In 1874 Marcus Daly became a citizen of the United States. The Walker Brothers sent Daly to the Montana Territory in 1876 to find and invest in a silver mine. Daly bought the Alice mine for the company and retained a one fifth interest for himself. In 1881, Daly sold his interest in the Alice mine and purchased the Anaconda claim, with the backing of George Hearst and his associates, James Ben Ali Haggin and Lloyd Tevis. The Anaconda was mainly a silver mine until they hit the copper vein 300 feet deep and 100 feet wide.   Daly built the town of Anaconda to support his smelter (. By 1890, the copper mines of Butte were producing over seventeen million dollars worth of copper a year, and Marcus Daly, although a junior partner in the Anaconda venture, had become a very rich man.

Now as Mom and I learned during our tour at the World Mining Museum, he built his smelter in Anaconda because the other "Copper King", William Clark, wouldn't let him build it in Butte close to the mine.   There were 3 "Copper Kings", William Clark, Marcus Daly and Fritz Heinze.  The latter was originally a surveyor for Marcus Daly and became very good at buying land next to Daly's, digging underground to reach the latter's veins (which later became the root of the phrase "undermining").  Even though he didn't have the gift of discovering good prospects (karma sucks huh), he compensated by having all of the local judges and lawyers in his wallet.  Lawsuits against him tended to drag on for decades, and by then the vein was completely milked.  When the law was changed in 1905 Fritz simply sold everything and moved to New York.

Marcus and his wife Margaret had 4 children and spent mostly summer time at the house.  It was originally purchased in 1886 Marcus Daly purchased and was completely remodeled by 1889.  The home has over 50 rooms, with 25 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, as well as 7 fireplaces, 5 of which have imported Italian marble. The home is three stories for a total of 24,000 square feet, plus a full basement.  It currently sits on approximately 50 acres.

Also from http://dalymansion.org/:

While Daly lived, 1200 head of horses were kept on the Bitterroot Stock Farm. His favorite thoroughbred, Tammany, was foaled in Tennessee in 1889. Marcus bought him in 1891 for $2,500. In 1893 there was a rivalry going on between Tammany and the favorite horse of the East, Lamplighter. A race was set up for the two horses in Guttenberg, New Jersey. Daly had said, "If Tammany beats Lamplighter, I'll build him a castle." Tammany won by 4 lengths. His "castle" is located on a hill about a mile east of Hamilton. 


Now let me see if I can get this right - This is a piece of floor that is an image of Tammany from the Montana Hotel bar.   It is said that the hotel regulars knew to walk around the head of the horse in the floor because anyone that stepped on it was required to by a round for the entire bar.
My understanding is that many of the items in the house were taken when Marcus Daly died.  The children removed anything that they wanted and over the years the mansion was broken into numerous times.   The volunteers and the society have taken measures to reproduce and get donated many of the things you now see in the mansion - working to keep to the period.  I think they've done a fabulous job myself!

Almost every bedroom either had its own bathroom or had a "jack and jill" bathroom between two bedrooms.

Below is the nursery as you may have guessed.
I couldn't resist the old potty chair!
Notice the cute little socks? This was up on the 3rd floor where most of the servants rooms were as well as a few guest rooms and the billiard room.  This floor isn't always open to tours.  Below is the sewing room. The staircase to the second floor.

Truly an amazing place to tour and I hope to go back sometime and get a full tour and history and more information although I will say it was really cool to do the self tour and be able to linger at things you are interested in.   


Far Side(non-registered)
Wow that is a beautiful place. I giggled at the chicken feathers in that one hat! Indoor plumbing!! Wow that was some place to clean and keep up! It looks like it is well kept now and they did a nice job of displaying everything:)
Brian King Images(non-registered)
Wow! Spectacular! Can you imagine what it took to keep that place clean? This reminds me a lot of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. This is a great piece of history!
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