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The town of Square Butte is located at the foot of a mountain where a big spring supplies everyone with water. In Square Butte, view the historic jail located at the west end of town. It was built from shonkinite quarried locally.
The town of Square Butte gets its name from a nearby geologic formation. The flat-topped butte juts 2,400 feet above the surrounding plains and is visible for a radius of seventy-five miles in many directions. With its soaring buttresses, spires, and pinnacles it is a compelling and imposing site.
The geologic formation of Square Butte is a laccolith, a mass of igneous rock formed from magma that did not surface but instead spread out, forcing the overlying strata to bulge upward. There are alternating layers, light and dark bands that are each six to eight feet thick, throughout the formation. The volcanic activity that formed Square Butte was not unique to the area. In fact, three other laccolith intrusionsCascade Butte, Fort Shaw Butte, and Crown Butte are located within ten miles of Square Butte.
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