aka Jardine aka Crevice
The Crevasse or Crevice district, a small sub-district southeast of the Jardine district, is centered around mining activity on Crevice Mountain and the placers of Crevasse Creek. Although the first activity in the district was placer mining, production was never large, and claims were worked intermittently (Lyden 1948; Sahinen 1935).
The placers of Crevice gulch were discovered in 1863 and the gold quartz lodes of Crevice Mountain in 1879. The mines were worked simultaneously with those in nearby Bear Gulch. In 1879 someone named Stoner located the Pilot mine on Crevice Mountain and with his partner worked the gold quartz deposit in an arrastra which the two built. That same year, Neil Gillis and Charles H. Wyman discovered the Highland Chief on the south side of the ridge. They held the property until about 1891, when they disposed of it to Edgerton and Jewell of Helena, who promptly formed the Crevasse Mining Company. In addition to the Highland Chief, this new company owned the Mizpah, Summit, and Granite lodes, and, to handle the volume of ore, moved the machinery of the 10-stamp mill that they had previously operated in Bear Gulch to a location on Highland Creek. Here the mill, which was finally enlarged to 20 stamps, operated successfully for a number of years (Lyden 1948; Wolle 1963).
The main development of claims at Crevasse was by organized companies, but the initial strikes were made by individuals like Thomas Lewis, Adoph Hageman, and Frank Watson, who had lived in the region most of their lives. Little mining went on for the ten years after 1911, except during World War I, when Hageman and Watson processed and shipped small amounts of scheelite from their diggings. The district was revived in 1921 by Don Davenport who leased the Hulse and Hageman groups of claims and organized the American Gold Mines Company. Then in 1931 Edgar Weld, James Reardon, and Norman Bongard leased the Snowshoe mine from the Treloar interests and installed a pebble mill on the property in 1932 and worked the lode through an open cut, recovering more than 800 tons of oxidized ore. District activities have been entirely dormant since the shutdown of the Hulse group in 1940. The district was never a significant or continuous producer compared to other districts in Park County such as the Jardine or New World districts. Total production between 1901 and 1939 inclusive was 13,357 tons of ore, yielding 2,770 ounces of lode gold; 1 ounce of placer gold; and 700 ounces of silver with a total value in 1950 of $69,217 (Sahinen 1935; Reed 1950; Wolle 1963).
The area is occupied by pre-Cambrian gneiss and quartz-biotite schists which are cut by gold and silver-bearing veins. Lodes are located along two concentrically curved zones convex to the west as a result of synclinal warping to the east of the pre-Cambrian schists. Northward, the gneisses are covered by an extensive area of volcanic rocks. Near the head of the gulch the volcanic rocks are intruded by an irregular granitic stock. The source of the placer gold is in quartz veins in the crystalline schists and gneisses of the Sheepeater-Crevasse district (Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948; Reed 1950).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Sahinen (1935) places the district in Crevice Gulch 10 miles east-southeast of Gardiner, the terminus of the Yellowstone Park branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Reed (1950) states that the district is contiguous to the Jardine district on the southeast, and possesses similar topography, geology and mineral characteristics.
Based on Montana Bureau of Mines (n.d.) information and the mining literature, the district is bounded on the north by the Jardine district, on the south by the Park County - Wyoming boundary, and on the east by an arbitrary section line. Major landmarks in the district include Crevice Mountain, Buffalo Mountain, Oregon Mountain, and Crevasse Gulch. Figure 1 shows the Crevasse sub-district as defined by Sahinen (1935) and Reed (1950) within the larger Jardine-Crevasse district as defined by the AMRB (1994).
There appears to be some significant conflict in the mining literature as to the distinction between the Jardine and Crevasse mining districts. While the Crevasse district is also known as the Jardine, it is generally acknowledged that the Jardine district discussed here lies north of the Crevasse district, and is also known as the Bear Gulch or Sheepeater district. However, Lyden (1948) states that the placer golds in Bear Creek (Gulch?) originate in the "gold-quartz veins of the Sheepeater -Crevasse district." A USGS mineral survey (Anon. 1983) defines the Sheepeater district as encompassing the northern half of what this report defines as the Jardine-Crevasse district (Reed 1950; Wolle 1963; Samuelson 1983).
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
All of the mines listed below occur on the flanks of Crevasse Mountain, and are actually isolated claims working one of two lodes - the east and the west. In some literature, all of these claims are considered part of the Crevasse Mine. In other areas, the claims of Crevasse Mountain are divided among the Crevasse (Highland Chief, Mizpah,Summit and others) and Gillis (Summit, Granite and others) mines. In general, discovery of these claims occurred in 1879 or shortly thereafter, with concentrated activity between 1890 to 1900, 1904-1910, and during the mid 1920s and 1930s. Production was generally limited, and no production records from specific mines was found (WPA 1941; Reed 1950).
The Conrad group is located on the south end of the west lode, in the southeast quarter of section 22, T 9S, R 9E. The gold-bearing veins on the Conrad holdings were the first discovered on Crevasse Mountain in 1879. Exploitation of the group took place in 1891-1898 and 1904-1908, with gold production reported between 1891 to 1895 and 1904 to 1906 inclusive. The lode was partly developed by a series of open cuts and underground workings totaling 4,000 feet with a vertical range of 600 feet.The mine was the most productive property on Crevasse Mountain, yielding a total of $128,363.41 in gold bullion by 1906. Pyrite and arsenopyrite are common in the ores, and gold from samples ranges up to .3 ounces per ton. The dominant gangue is a glassy quartz. When the property was revisited in 1948, only the primary incline was still accessible, and all structures had been destroyed (Seager 1944; Reed 1950).
The First Chance (Lewis-McBride), located in section 22, T 9S, R 9E, consists of five patented claims on the west lode. The workings exposed a mineral zone about 100 feet wide consisting of five or more distinct lenses of mineral-bearing glassy quartz, lying parallel to the foliation of the enclosing quartz-biotite schist. The schists tend to carry the higher gold values. The mine also produced scheelite. A small, gas-powered flotation mill was constructed in 1938, but was operated without success. The small lots of ore produced from the property in 1939 were treated in Jardine, and the property was abandoned by 1940 (Reed 1950).
The McCauley group is located in the northeast quarter of section 22, T 9S, R 9E on the west lode. The mine was located by Alexander Campbell in 1886, and a short-lived 20-stamp mill was constructed 1.5 miles from the mine in 1894. The veins in the property were prospected by four or more "grass root" adits , including one 300-foot adit, and several open cuts and shallow shafts. Quartz lenses one to three feet thick and four to five foot zones of soft schist are said to contain arsenopyrite, pyrite, gold and minor amounts of scheelite and sphalerite. However, no production was recorded for this property. A reported "19 sacks" of scheelite is said to have been produced during World War I (Seager 1944; Reed 1950).
The Medona is a patented claim located in the southeast quarter of section 15, T 9S, R 9E on the north limb of the west lode. The claim was located in 1896 by Mike Welch. A quartz lens about three feet wide and several small footwall quartz stringers exposed by underground development were said to contain arsenopyrite and gold. During World War I, a reported $25,000 in scheelite was removed from a small pipe associated with the footwall quartz. A 25-ton gas-powered Gibson mill was constructed, probably in the 1930's, combining amalgamation and gravity concentration units. The mine and its associated camp were abandoned in 1939 (Seager 1944; Reed 1950).
The Snowshoe, consisting of 11 patented lode-mining claims, is located in sections 15 and 22, T 9S, R 9E. The Snowshoe is part of the Hulse group. The north limb of the west lode runs through the claims. The deposit was discovered in the 1880's, and worked sporadically up to 1940. The most active period for the mine was between 1934 and 1940. During this period, an estimated 6,000 tons of ore valued at $25,000 was treated on-site in a 35-ton, gas-powered, amalgamation-flotation mill. An assay of samples showed a variable composition to the ore, ranging from .04 to 55 percent scheelite; .08 ounces of gold and 0 to .05 ounces of silver per ton. Underground workings total approximately 950 feet, confined largely to the northwest end of the claim (Seager 1944; Reed 1950).
Other mines in the district include the Dryden, Empire State, Frank, Kennebeck, Pop, Vindicator, and Watson (Reed 1950).
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
Calderhead, J. H. and O. M. Holmes
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1938 "Geology and Ore Deposits of Jardine, Montana",
Thesis (Bachelor of Science), Montana School of Mines
Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict
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Lyden, Charles J.
Gold Placers of Montana,
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Butte, Reprint 6, 1987.
Reed, Glenn C.
1950 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (except fuels), Park County, Montana", U. S. Department of the Interior.
Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7546
Samuelson, Ann E.
1983 "Cultural Resource Report of the Crevice Mountain Timber Sale Gardiner Ranger District (D-3) Gallatin National Forest", Gallatin National Forest Report # 82-GA-3-25.
Sahinen, Uuno Mathias
Mining Districts of Montana
, A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Geology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Geological Engineering.
1944 "Gold, Arsenic, and Tungsten Deposits of the Jardine-Crevasse Mountain District Park County, Montana",
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir # 23
Shoemaker, C. S. and John Miles
Seventh Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana
, State Publishing Company, Helena.
Swallow, G. C. and J. B. Trevarthen
Reports of the Inspector of Mines and Deputy Inspector of Mines for the Six Months Ending November 30th, 1889
. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.
Swindlehurst, J. W.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry, 1st Biennial Report.
Wedow, Jr., Helmuth, David L. Gaskill, D'Arcy P. Banister, Eldon C. Pattee
1975 "Mineral Resources of the Absaroka Primitive Area and Vicinity, Park and Sweet Grass Counties, Montana",
USGS Bulletin 1391-B
, Washington, D.C.
Wolle, Muriel Sibell
Montana Pay Dirt: A Guide to the Mining Camps of the Treasure State
Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, Athens.
Works 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.
1983 "Mineral Resources of the North Absaroka Wilderness Study Area, Park and Sweet Grass Counties, Montana",
Geological Survey Bulletin 1505
, USGS and U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D. C.