Located 45 miles west of Dillon, the Saginaw district has a very limited production history. Some placers were developed on Miner's Creek west of Jackson. Ben Phillips and Walter Fox along with some others located placers on the stream, but met with little results. Later men named Northgraves, Simpkins, Livingston and Peck located some gold quartz near the stream in 1891. In 1902 B. O. Fournier and George Talbott prospected near the stream and located the Standard, Bullion, El Dorado and the Last Chance claims. Some development work was done on the Gold Coin claim by E. A. Benjamine and N. Delong in 1903. The two men apparently dug a tunnel 120 feet long, but no production is reported for their efforts. That same year an arrastra was built on the Eclipse mine by a Mr. Townsend, but again no production was recorded (Noyes 1966; Sassman 1941).
The only significant property in the district was the Saginaw mine. The mine was discovered in 1894 by Dunc Wadams and leased to William Krdney and a Mr. Ballenger in 1900. The mine proved to be excessively wet and operations were suspended in 1904. In 1916, the mine was reopened by Krdney and George North who reported production for two years. The mine is credited with 206,282 pounds of copper and 445 ounces of silver (Geach 1972; WPA 1941).
Some placer gold was reported from Coro Creek southeast of Jackson and in 1916 some copper ore was shipped from the area (Sahinen 1935).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
The Saginaw mine is listed as a sub-district of the Beaverhead or Bloody Dick districts in the Jackson section by the Montana Mine Index. Sahinen (1935) more precisely defines the district as being near the town of Jackson in the south end or the upper Big Hole Basin. Geach (1972) merely identifies the mine as an isolated property and gives its location in the north half of section 16, T7S, R15W. Figure 1 shows the boundary given by Sahinen (1935) and the boundary of the Saginaw mine (equal district) as defined by Geach (1972)
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
The Saginaw Property is about 10 miles south of Jackson in the drainage of a small tributary of Ore Creek. The mine was discovered in 1894 by Dunc Wadams and leased to William Krdney and a Mr. Ballenger in 1900. The mine proved to be excessively wet and operations were suspended in 1904 because the pumps were not able to handle the flow of water. In 1916, the mine was reopened by Krdney and George North. Ore was hauled 27 miles by wagon to meet the Gilmore & Pittsburg Railroad at Brenner. The ore was then hauled by train to smelters in Salt Lake (Geach 1972).
Development of the property included a 320 foot incline shaft. Drifts were established at 150 and 300 feet below the shaft. A small steam hoist was used to haul up the ore. A map of the mine states that the shaft collar had collapsed, but the incline shaft was reportedly still open at depth. The mine produced red and brown jasper ore. When the dump was inspected, the jasper was seen to be veined and stained by malachite, chrysocolla and other secondary copper minerals (Geach 1972).
The Saginaw mine is listed in the Montana Mine Index from 1914 to 1917; it had earlier been discussed in the mining literature in 1903 and then again in 1916. Production was limited to the years between 1914 and 1917 when 1,236 tons of ore were extracted. This ore yielded 206,282 pounds of copper and 445 ounces of silver (Geach 1972; WPA 1941).
Geach, R. D.
1972 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (except fuels) Beaverhead County, Montana",
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 85
Noyes, Alva Josiah
The Story of Ajax; Life in the Big Hole Basin
, Buffalo-Head Press.
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.
1941 "Metal Mining in Historic Beaverhead County (1862-1940)", Thesis Montana State University.
Work 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.