aka Bone Basin

aka Mayflower aka Cedar Hollow

Renova, a station of the Ruby Valley branch of the Northern Pacific was developed as a result of mining in the foothills of the north slope of the Tobacco Root Mountains. The district was not very active prior to the discovery of the Mayflower mine in 1896. The ore of the Mayflower mine lay in a deep chimney, but from 1896 until 1904 the Mayflower led all other properties in the district in production. From 1905 to 1911, gold, silver, and small amounts of copper and lead were recovered from the mines of the district (Sahinen 1935; Wolle 1963).

Geologically the prevailing rocks of the district are feldspathic sandstone or arkose and sandly shales of Beltian age. To the north, they are overlain by lake beds of the Bozeman formation, but to the east and west, they are in contact with Paleozoic rocks. South of the Mayflower mine they are in fault contact with Cretaceous lavas. Ore deposits occur as mineralized fissures in limestone and as veins cutting Beltian arkose and a syenite porphyry which has been intruded into the arkose. The ore (except in the Mayflower mine) is richest near the surface. The gold ore of the Mayflower mine is quite different than any other ores in the Tobacco Root area. The telluride ores of the mine are hypogenic in origin (Pardee 1918; Sahinen 1935).


Winchell (1914) puts the district at the north end of the Tobacco Root Mountains near the Renova railroad station.

Pardee (1918) is a great deal more specific. He states that the district is an area of about 2 or 3 square miles about 3 miles southeast of Renova, a station on the Alder Branch of the Northern Pacific Railway.

Sahinen (1935) places the district about six miles south of Whitehall. The mines all lie in the foothills of the Tobacco Root Mountains to the east.


Bonanza Fraction

The Bonanza Fraction Mine was active from 1912 to 1915 and again in 1935. The mine produced iron sulphide ores with gold, silver and copper values.


The mine was first officially reported to be active in 1905 and 1907. The mine was owned and operated by the Colorado Mining Company. It was developed by a 220 foot a shaft with 700 foot of drifting and crosscuts. A steam Ledgerwood hoist was used to work a 5/8 inch steel cable and cage. The mine shipped about 100 tons of gold ore per month. Activity resumed in 1923 and continued intermittently until 1940. The mine produced gold and some silver from a strong fissure zone in Upper Beltian arkosic sandstone (Walsh and Orem 1906; Tansley et al. 1933; WPA 1941).


The Florence mine was active throughout the 1920s and again in the late 1930's. The mine produced gold, lead, copper and some silver in sulphide ores.

Gold Hill

The Gold Hill mine worked two similar veins separated by 50 feet in Upper Beltian arkosic sandstone. The high-grade ores are on the footwall of the oxidized zones and on the hanging wall of the sulphide zone (Winchell 1914; Tansley et al. 1933).

Iron King

The Iron King mine is located near the top of a steep slope east of the Jefferson River, a short distance south of Renova. The mine was developed with a 80-foot adit on a 4 foot bed of iron ore between Cambrian shale and Cambrian limestone. A sample of ore from the mine also contained a significant amount of manganese. Some of the ore from the mine was shipped to Butte some time prior to 1918 (Pardee 1918).

Mary Ingabar

The Mary Ingabar produced oxidized ore from a strong fissure zone in Upper Beltian arkosic sandstone (Winchell 1914; Tansley et al. 1933).

The mine was active in 1905, 1907, 1915, 1935 and 1939. The mine produced gold, silver, copper and lead (WPA 1941).


The Mayflower mine is located nine miles north of Mammoth the old mining community and mine of Mammoth. In 1898 the Mayflower employed 16 miners and four topmen in two tunnels. The No. 1 tunnel was 165 feet long and the no. 2 tunnel was 670 feet long. A year later 21 men were employed in the No. 3 adit on the East Mayflower which was excavated to 700 feet; 500 feet from the portal a winze was sunk on the main ore chute 300 feet to water level. In 1901, 30 men were employed at the mine and the winze, newly equipped with a 40 h.p. hoist, was lowered to the 700 foot level. In 1902 the winze reached a depth of 925 feet which was 1,200 feet under the outcrop. However, no ore was found at the 800 and 900 foot levels. High grade ores averaging $150 per ton in gold were stoped out above the water table encountered at the 300 foot level. The main lower stopes extend from the 300 to 700 foot levels (Byrne and Hunter 1898; 1899; 1901; Byrne and Barry 1902; Tansley et al. 1933).

The Mayflower mine telluride ore was mined from sausage-like shoots in a fault vein cutting limestone developed to a depth of 800 feet. Under W. A. Clark's management the Mayflower Mining Company produced $1,250,000 in ore between 1896 and 1901. The mine continued to produce heavily until 1905. Some estimates place the total production from this period at $3 million. The property has been inactive since then and its deep workings, 1000 feet below the surface, have caved in and filled with water. The mine was discussed in the mining literature in 1904 and 1931; it reported activity again in 1912, 1921, 1926 and in the late 1930s (Sahinen 1935; WPA 1941; Wolle 1963).

West Mayflower

Located on the west side of the Mayflower, the West Mayflower mine produced $50,000 in gold ore in the early 1930s. By 1937 the mine was under development by the West Mayflower Mining Company under the direction of the Anaconda Mining Co. The mine was developed by a drift and a 160 foot vertical shaft with a exploratory drift driven from the bottom of the shaft. The mine was equipped with a 450 cubic foot compressor, driven by a 75 h.p. motor; a single-drum hoist was driven by a 50 h.p. induction motor. Surface development included a cookhouse, bunkhouse and shops (Tansley et al. 1933; Lorain 1937).


Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau (AMRB)

1994 Mining districts of Montana. Maps 1:100,000 and Map #94-NRIS-129. Compiled and edited by Joel Chavez. Prepared by Montana State Library Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) for Montana Department of State Lands. Helena

Byrne, John and Frank Hunter


Ninth Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana

. State Publishing Company, Helena.

1899 Tenth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana for the Year ending November 30th, 1898. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

1901 Twelfth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

Byrne, John and John J. Barry


Fourteenth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana.

Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

Calderhead, J. H.

1898 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 6th Annual Report."

Calderhead, J. H. and O. M. Holmes

1900 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 7th Annual Report."

Gidel, Murl A.

1939 "History of Geology and Ore Deposits",

Seven Talks About Mines

, pp. 10-19.

Kemp, James Furman

1898 "Geological Occurrence and Associates of Telluride Gold Ores",

Mineral Industry

, Vol. 6, pp. 295-320.

Lorain, S. H.

1937 "Gold Lode Mining in the Tobacco Root Mountains, Madison County, Montana",

U. S. Bureau of Mines

, Inf. Circ. 6972.

Lyden, Charles J.


The Gold Placers of Montana

. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 26. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Pardee, Joseph Thomas

1918 "Some Manganese Deposits in Madison County, Montana",

U. S. Geological Survey

, Bull. 690-F, pp. 131-143, 1919;

(abst.) Washington Acad. Sci. Journal

, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 48-49, 1919;

(abst.) Min. and Sci. Press

, Vol. 117, p. 200.

1921 "Deposits of Manganese Ore in Montana, Utah, Oregon and Washington", U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 715-J, pp 141-145.

Pearce, Richard

1898 "The Occurrence of Tellurium in Montana",

Eng. and Min. Journal

, Vol. 63, p. 117, 1897;

Colorado Sci. Soc. Proc.

, Vol. 5, pp. 244-245.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Tansley, Wilfred and Schafer, Paul A. , and Hart, Lyman H.

1933 "A Geological Reconnaissance of the Tobacco Root Mountains, Madison County, Montana",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

, Mem. 9.

Walsh, William and William Orem


Biennial Report of Inspector of Mines for 1905-1906

. Independent Publishing, Helena.

Winchell, Alexander Newton

1911 "A Theory for the Origin of Graphite as Exemplified in the Graphite Deposit near Dillon, Montana",

Economic Geology

, Vol. 6, pp 218-230.

1914 "Mining Districts of the Dillon Quadrangle, Montana and Adjacent Areas", U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 574.

Wolle, Muriel S.


Montana Pay Dirt. A Guide to the Mining Camps of the Treasure State

. Sage Books, Denver.

Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey


Montana Mine Index, An Alphabetical Index Arranged by Counties, Districts and Mines of Information on Montana Mines from 1867-1940

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.