At the turn of the century life in the mining city of Butte, Montana was tough. Long difficult hours in dangerous mines made life short and strenuous. However, the difficulty of living brought out the best of people from all walks of life. The superior craftsmanship of these workers is evident in architecture all around Butte. It was a time when good enough was never good enough, unless it was your very best, and you could always do better. In 1896 a mining mogul and business leader William Andrews Clark, father of Huguette Clark, built Montana's first and only amusement park as his gift to the city. The beautifully crafted carousel was the heart of the Columbia Gardens. It operated for many years bringing families closer together and providing so much enjoyment..
The mission of "The Spirit of Columbia Gardens Carousel" project is to bring Butte people and civic resources together to construct and operate a hand carved carousel reminiscent of what we remember about the Columbia Gardens. The focus of this program is to: reclaim, restore, and preserve an important part of Butte's history, teach the dying art of hand-carved horses and embellishments. We will enhance the quality of community life by providing present and future generations with a unique opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasure of having fun together.