The first prospectors in the area are thought to have discovered gold in the mountains to the south of the Yellowstone River district in the late 1860s. While the area around the Yellowstone River may have been prospected at this time, the lands within this district saw little mining activity.

Placer gold valued at $2,662 was reported to have been recovered from the gravels of the Yellowstone River west of Columbus during the years 1931,1933,1940 and 1941. In 1940 two operators recovered, by sluicing, 50 fine ounces of gold. The following year one operator recovered 22 fine ounces of gold by sluicing (Lyden 1948).


Because the Yellowstone River district saw such limited activity, it is not discussed as a district in historic sources, nor were its boundaries defined.

Figure 1 shows the AMRB (1994) definition of the Yellowstone mining district. The area of the 1930s placer activity is shown by dashed lines.


Florence Placer

The Florence placer recorded production 1931 (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

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 The Gold Placers of Montana. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 26. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Works 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 Yellowstone mining district as defined by the AMRB (1994). The area of the 1930s placer activity is shown by dashed lines.