The Pleasant View district is located on the eastern slope of the Bitterroot Mountains, southwest of the town of Victor. The district had several lode claims which caused some interest initially but later proved to be insignificant as producers.
Small areas of Newland shales and limestones of the Belt series underlie the Pleasant View district. The remainder of the underlying rock is quartz monzonite of the Idaho batholith. Metamorphism has turned this granite schistose in a zone a few miles wide all along the eastern front of the Bitterroot Mountains. Glacial action deposited Pleistocene and recent gravels in the river and lower creek valleys at the eastern edge of the district. The primary ores are silver and copper, both of which occur in veins (Lindgren 1903; Sahinen 1935).
The first discovery in the Pleasant View district was a silver lode on Sweathouse Creek in 1871. Sahinen (1957) suggests that this deposit was either the Bitterroot Prince or the Pleasant View. This strike attracted other prospectors to the area and by 1883 there were 36 claims recorded. Despite the proliferation of claims, development was slow. Work on the Bitterroot Prince was minimal and the mine was apparently abandoned by the late 1880s. During the same period, crews pushed ahead with work on the Pleasant View claim, and by 1885 the mine had shipped two or three carloads of ore to Denver. The mining literature carried no news of the district then until development began on the Ore Finder claim in the early 1900s. This mine operated much of the time until at least 1912, and then the Pleasant View began producing on a very intermittent basis, running through 1939. There has been no work in the district since then, and there are no records of total production (Report of the Director of the Mint 1883; 1885; Walsh and Orem 1906; 1910; 1912; Sahinen 1957; Wolle 1963).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
An early history placed the Sweathouse (later Pleasant View) district "in the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains about four miles south of Deep Canyon and about 12 miles southwest of Stevensville...." Sahinen (1935) places the Pleasant View district five miles southwest of Victor (Sahinen 1935, 1957). Figure 1 shows the district as described by Sahinen (1935) within the larger AMRB (1994) district boundaries.
Others have placed the Pleasant View district to the east of Victor. Lyden (1948) described small placer operations in Schooner Gulch, originally described as southwest of Victor. When he could find no stream by that name, he assumed that the original document referred instead to Spooner Gulch, which is southeast of Victor. In addition, a map compiled by the WPA shows the Pleasant View district as southeast of Victor (WPA 1940).
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
The Bitterroot Prince is located in sections 4 and 5, T7N, R21W. This may be the early silver deposit that was located in 1871, but there is not enough information to know if it was this mine or the Pleasant View. By 1883 the original owner, Andrew Buker, had given up his claim and the mine was relocated by another party. Initial development was slow, but operators announced assay results that ranged from 20 to 800 ounces of silver per ton. Two years later the tunnel was driven in 40 feet, the shaft was down to 25 feet, and assay results had dropped to just $40 to $60 per ton. Operators discovered that the ore might require roasting, thus increasing costs considerably. The Bitterroot Prince is not mentioned after this date (
Report of the Director of the Mint
Development work was underway on the Ore Finder mine in 1902. Crews had the shaft down 100 feet by late 1904 and had sacked some rich ore which the owners boasted assayed 600-700 ounces of silver and 2 - 15 percent copper. Two years later, the two - compartment shaft was down 200 feet, and crews had completed 300 feet of drifting. Operators could remove ore with a bucket and steam hoist. Drifting had increased to 400 feet by 1910 and 700 feet two years later. The ore carried values of gold, silver, and copper, but there are no records of production (Walsh and Orem 1906, 1910, 1912; Wolle 1963).
The Pleasant View mine, located in sec. 4, T7N, R21W, may have been the deposit located in 1871, but there is not enough information to tell if it was this mine or the Bitterroot Prince. By 1883, owners W. E. Bass and Mr. Abernethy had a crew of 7 men working, and the shaft was down to 100 feet and levels were started. Bass asserted that, based on assay reports, the ore would average 200 ounces of silver to the ton. Two years later, the shaft had been sunk another 70 feet and other levels were developed. The owners were pleased with returns from the two or three carloads of ore shipped to Denver, which averaged nearly $500 per ton (Sahinen 1957;
Report of the Director of the Mint
Mining literature does not mention the Pleasant View property again until 1914 when the mine shipped some silver-copper ore. The workings that year included a 165 foot inclined shaft and three drifts. Eleven years later, the shaft was down to 200 feet, the tunnel in 300 feet, and the mine shipped one carload of silver ore. Another carload of low-grade ore went out in 1926. The mine's final production came in 1939 when operators shipped a small lot of silver ore. The mine was abandoned some time after this (Sahinen 1957; WPA 1941).
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
Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict
Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report
1903 "Mineral Deposits of the Bitterroot Range and Clearwater Mountains, Montana",
U.S.G.S. Bulletin N. 213
Contributions to Economic Geology, 1902
. Government Printing Office, Washington.
Lyden, Charles J.
1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",
Memoir No. 26
. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Butte, Montana.
Report of the Director of the Mint
1883 Government Printing Office, Washington.
1885 Government Printing Office, Washington.
Sahinen, Uuno Mathias
1935 "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.
1957 "Mines and Mineral Deposits, Missoula and Ravalli Counties, Montana", Bulletin No. 8. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Walsh, William, and William Orem
Biennial Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana For Years 1905-06
1910 Biennial Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana For the Years 1909-10.
1912 Biennial Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana For the Years 1911-12.
Wolle, Muriel Sibell
Montana Pay Dirt: A Guide to the Mining Camps of the Treasure State
. Sage Books, Denver.
Work Projects Administration (WPA), Mineral Resources Survey
1940 "Directory of Montana Mining Properties",
Memoir No. 20
. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
1941 Montana Mine Index, and Alphabetical Index Arranged by Counties, Districts and Mines of Information on Montana Mines from 1867-1940. Montana School of Mines, Butte.