Mai Wah Society

New Acquisitions

Chopine Shoes

Please see the blog for the story behind the 1890s shoes donated to the museum by Tina Huie in 2013.

Doctor's Cabinets

Three antique cabinets that likely originated in a Butte Chinese doctor's office have been donated to the Mai Wah by Don and Jo Rigg of Chinese Healing Arts in Helena. The fascinating cabinets, in excellent condition, are on display in the Doctor's Office (Mai Wah building, off the gift shop). Thanks to Don and Jo!


Jim Apken recently donated eight small figurines to the Mai Wah. The one at left below represents a goddess—the central figure or part of a small altar suite (we know this because she is seated). At right is probably a Dragon Maiden or Dragon Princess, an attendant to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Three figures (Guanyin and her two attendants) would have probably been found in Chinese homes in Butte’s Chinatown. A third figurine is at center. These figurines belonged to the Yee Chai family since 1900. That family moved from Canton, China, to Macau and established the Yee Chai Shop there in 1938. Catalogued by Janet Sperry (Left: MW2009.01.02. Right: MW2009.01.01)

A Map

During the summer of 2009, a map of part of Butte came in to the Museum. It covers areas east of Main Street and south of Mercury - not an area we think of as Chinatown, but it has labels pasted on it with extensive Chinese writing. It appears to be an enlarged Sanborn Map with the extra annotations. The date is circa 1905-1915. It includes Radium Street, no longer present in Butte (it ran south of the Blue Range brothel on Mercury Street, and must have been put in after 1898 when radium was disovered and named by Marie Curie). The map is in pretty rough shape, but we'll be trying to get the lables translated. A photo of part of it is below.