aka Danielsville

aka Twin Peaks (sub-district)


The first placer to be worked in the Racetrack district was the Avondale which was located in 1895 by Benjamin Daniels. The district was quiet until 1901, when one more placer and 10 lodes were claimed. These were claimed mostly by members of the Daniels family. By 1905 a total of 89 lode and 40 placer claims were made.

The district has been known as the Racetrack, Daniels and Danielsville district and is in the southeast portion of the Flint Creek range, north of Anaconda and southwest of Deer Lodge. The original claimants, members of the Daniels family, consistently refer to it as the Racetrack district. A town named Danielsville, sprang up in 1905 on the Amazon mill site, across from the district's first mill. The mill was erected to serve the lode mines to the southwest at the head of Racetrack Creek. However, no lode production was forthcoming.

Placering continued intermittently; in 1910 and 1912 the production of a few ounces of gold was reported. In 1914 one operator reported some success working quartz float. In 1918 the Dark Horse mine was located by Thomas Daniels to the northeast of Danielsville. However, the mine did not report any production until the Depression brought higher gold prices (Earll 1972).

The increase of gold prices in the Great Depression brought renewed interest in the placers throughout the west, including the Racetrack placers. In 1932 one operator on the creek reported some gold production and in 1935 one claim yielded 2.2 ounces of gold (Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948).

In the 1930s the Huntington mill, originally located at the Silver Queen on Lost Creek, was relocated to the Dark Horse mill site about a mile east of the mine on Granite Creek. The mill equipment was described as a 2 stamp Frasier and Chalmers mill powered by a overshot water wheel. The Dark Horse mine and mill achieved a small level of production from 1931 to 1940 (Earll 1972).

Twin Peaks Sub-district

To the southwest of the Racetrack district, in the upper reaches of Warm Springs Creek are the Twin Peaks mines. These are clustered in two areas, the Gold Bar Basin on the west and the Northern Cross to the east. Mining in the region began around 1890. Several patents were issued in 1896 and 1897. The mines of the district were still active in 1906 when the district was visited by Emmons and Calkins (Earll 1972; Emmons and Calkins 1913).

Little actual production was achieved by the district. The St. Thomas mine is credited with several thousand dollars of gold ore in 1906 and the Nineteen Hundred was credited with $3,000. The district withered after 1906 and activity had ceased by 1910. (Earll 1972)


Sahinen (1935) places the district on Racetrack Creek about eight miles west of the Racetrack siding.

Lyden (1948) describes Racetrack as the most southerly creek in Powell County. It begins on the eastern slopes of the Flint Creek range and flows east to join the Clarks Fork about eight miles south of Deerlodge.

Figure 1 shows the district as described by Sahinen (1935) with the Twin Peaks Sub-district also marked.



The Amazon mine is situated in SE section 7 and NE section 18 T6N, R11W high on the north facing slope about a mile from Danielsville. The mine's workings are in a coarse hornblende quartz diorite of the Racetrack pluton. Ore was extracted from narrow fissure veins. The size of the dump at the 250 foot adit was estimated to have come from about 450 feet of workings. The main adit was collapsed when visited in 1965. A map of the mine shows twin adits at the 55 foot level and an upper adit that appears to have had two periods of development. The map also has two buildings blocked out adjacent to and across the road from the main adit portal (Earll 1972).

Dark Horse

The Dark Horse is in the SE section 5 T6N, R11W on a small tributary of Racetrack Creek. It was located in 1918 by Thomas Daniels, but was not immediately developed. Beginning in 1931 the mine began to produce a modest amount of ore with gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc values. In the 1930s the Huntington mill from the Lost Creek district was relocated to a mill site a mile east of the Dark Horse mine. The small 2-stamp mill was powered by an overshot water wheel. Although the mine achieved modest production from 1931 to 1940, it officially reported production only in 1939 and 1940. An undated map of the mine provided to Earll (1972) by Mrs. A. R. Gustafson shows two shafts and a raise (WPA 1941; Earll 1972).


Beck, Barb S.

1987 "Cultural Resource Inventory of the Valley View Claim Group/Bielenberg Canyon", Deer Lodge National Forest Report No. 87-DL-1-3, Deer Lodge Ranger District.

Billingsley, Paul and J. A. Grimes

1917 "Ore Deposits of the Boulder Batholith of Montana", American Institute of Mining and Engineering Bulletin #124. pp. 641-717.

Earll, F. N.

1972 Mines and Mineral Deposits of the Southern Flint Creek Range, Montana. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 84. Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, Butte.

Emmons, William Harvey and Frank C. Calkins

1913 "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Philipsburg Quadrangle, Montana", U. S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 78.

GCM Services, Inc.

1994 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: In Dry Cottonwood Creek, Deer Lodge County, Montana", prepared for New Butte Mining, Inc., by GCM Services, Butte.

Hill, James M. with introduction by Waldemar Lindgren

1912 "The Mining Districts of the Western United States", U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 507, pp. 181-198, U.S. Government Print. Off., Washington, D. C.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey

1941 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.

Figure 1. The Racetrack mining district as described by Sahinen (1935) with the Twin Peaks Sub-district also marked.