Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park

Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park, Montana
The Anaconda Smoke Stack

Back in 1919, the Alphons Custodis Chimney Construction Company of New York built the 585-foot tall Anaconda Smoke Stack at the Anaconda Copper Company smelter. The stack is still one of the tallest free-standing masonry constructions on Earth. In a similar way to which the Anaconda Copper Company once dominated everything in this area of Montana, the smoke stack still dominates the horizon from so many places. Since the smelter ceased operations in 1980, this smoke stack has become a symbol for communities that are/were dependent on any one company's fortunes, and the problems inherent in depending on finite natural resources for your entire economic livelihood. The smelter itself was demolished in 1981 and only the stack was left standing. The citizens of Anaconda then organized a "Save the Stack" promotion that resulted in having the property declared a State Park in 1986.

The Anaconda Smoke Stack is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. While the state park surrounds the smoke stack itself, the structure can only be viewed properly from a distance. An interpretive/viewing site is available adjacent to Goodman Park on the eastern edge of Anaconda. As a means of comparison: the entire Washington Monument would easily fit inside this brick structure. The wall thickness varies from 6' at the bottom to 2' at the top. The inside diameter also drops from 75' at the bottom to 60' at the top.
Photo of the Anaconda Smoke Stack courtesy of Wikipedia userid Banjodog.
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