Montana-made copper star that adorned Capitol tree coming home to Butte

by Montana Standard, Susan Dunlap

The copper star that topped the Montana-grown national Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., this holiday season will be on permanent display in Butte once Montana Resources can find a home for it.

The star was designed, planned and funded by Missoula-based Washington Companies, which owns Montana Resources.

Though not the first star to adorn the nation’s “the People’s Tree,” it is the first star constructed from copper.

Mike McGivern, Montana Resources vice president for human resources, said Monday that MR’s initial plan is to showcase the star at the Montana Folk Festival in July.

“We want to place it some place where everyone can see it,” McGivern said.

Beyond that, McGivern said MR doesn’t have clear plans for where the star will go but the mining company is discussing its permanent Butte home.

“We want it to last and be protected and be admired,” McGivern said.

The 4-foot by 5-foot star has a steel frame wrapped in copper. Internal lighting glows through frosted Plexiglas. The star has eight points and features Montana’s state flower, the bitterroot, on the front and back – a three-dimensional copper piece attached at the center.

Missoula-based Western Montana Lighting created the lighting and Fabricator Split Mountain Metals, a Belgrade-based business, built the star.