HISTORIC CONTEXT

aka Deer Creek aka Ward

The St. Regis district is located along the eastern slopes of Bitterroot Mountain range. The area is between the St. Regis River and crest of the Bitterroots and includes the town of St. Regis, a station on the Northern Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroads. The district was of some significance from 1920 into the mid-1930s. The lode mines contained gold, silver, copper and lead-bearing ores. Some gold has been recovered from placers along the St. Regis River as well.(Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948).

The district lies in an area of Beltian rocks, through which the St. Regis River cuts. Northeast of St. Regis the Beltian rocks are quartzites and argillites of the Ravalli group. To the southwest, the shales, slates and impure limestones of the Wallace formation appear as outcrops. Ore deposits occur as placers and veins. Veins carry gold ores and silver, copper and lead ores. Some of the mines have exposed a good grade of sulphide copper ore (Sahinen 1935).

The town of St. Regis lies 14 miles west of Superior, at the confluence of the St. Regis river and the Clark Fork River. The town served as a rail station, as well as a sawmill town and supply center for loggers. The town was already considered as the "old town" by 1910 when a large forest fire forced its temporary abandonment. The town boasted a few notable buildings including Peter Rabbit's saloon and stage station, also called "The Kitchen" (Wolle 1963).

No production information is available on mines in the district prior to 1913, but the Lenora, and St. Lawrence, Oro Fino and Amazon Dixie in the adjacent Denemora district, reported production more or less continuously from 1917 to the mid-1930s (Sahinen 1935; WPA 1941).

Drilling occurred in 1947 on 1,500 acres along the St. Regis River between the towns of Henderson and St. Regis with the hopes of developing a dredging property. It is uncertain whether the dredge saw realization. Placer activities also took place on Deer Creek and Ward Creek which lie within the district. Although placer claims have been patented along the length of these creeks, production records are unavailable and it is presumed the output was minor. One claim on Deer Creek yielded $124 in 1924 (Lyden 1948).

BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT

Sahinen (1935) notes that the district includes the St. Regis river, as well as Deer Creek and Ward Creek. As defined by the AMRB (1994) the St. Regis river and the town of St. Regis form the northeast boundary of the district, while Deer Creek makes up the west boundary and Ward Creek makes up the southwestern boundary (Figure 1).

HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES

Sahinen (1935) notes that the district is not very important in terms of production, but that some mines had been moderately active between 1917 and 1935. No production information is offered. Nine lode claims and a 30-stamp mill were observed at the head of Deer Creek by 1948 (Lyden 1948).

Lenora

The Lenora gold mine, on the upper reaches of Twomile Creek, reported production in 1924, 1925, 1926, 1930 and 1931(WPA 1941).

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