aka Gilt Edge

aka Maiden aka Gold Hill

The Warm Springs district is located about 11 to 15 miles northeast of Lewistown near the headwaters of Warm Springs and Ford Creeks. The first gold strike occurred on Anderson Creek in the spring of 1880. By June additional discoveries were being worked on Maiden Creek, Alpine Creek, Warm Springs Creek and Ford Creek. These creeks continued to be worked profitably until the turn of the century. Afterward litigation and poor management created fluctuations in production. On Alpine Creek placers were active for nine seasons after 1904; gold totaling $1,120 was recovered in six seasons. Work in the gulches was hampered not by lack of gold, but by lack of surface water. The district derived its name from warm springs situated about four miles from the mines (Courtis 1884; Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948).

The Judith Mountains are formed of sedimentary rocks such as limestones with some shales and sandstones that date from Cambrian to Cretaceous. The domal structures of the mountains are intruded by laccoliths with associated intrusive sheets, dikes and stock-like bodies. Auriferous deposits occur in connection with some of the igneous granite and syenite rocks. Deposits occur in veins, contact deposits and replacement deposits. Larger veins are nearly vertical and fill fractures in fissured zones. Contact deposits commonly occur in limestone near the borders of igneous masses. Replacement of tellurides associated with fluorite occur in the porphyry and in limestone. Ore is associated with pyrite, galena, argentite, sphalerite, and chalcopyrite or their oxide products (Weed and Pirsson 1898; Sahinen 1935).

While placers continued to produce an average cleanup of $18 per day, lode mines were being claimed in the hills. The first quartz lode was the War Eagle and was discovered by Jones and Anderson; ore samples ran 80 ounces of silver per ton and a few dollars of gold. The same men along with Perry W. McAdow then claimed the Black Bull which was adjacent to the War Eagle (McAdow was in Gold Creek in 1861 when some of the first gold was placered in Montana). These three men and a fourth partner named Dexter then claimed the Alpine lode which was a galena mine. Interest in the district increased and in 1881 half-interest in the Collar mine, 1.5 miles away from the camp, was sold for $30,000. The Maginnis mine on Maginnis Hill, later known as Gold Hill, initially sent ore to a small 2-stamp mill at the base of the hill. This mill made a profit for its owners while losing $60 of $100 ore. Later, this mill was expanded and returned $300 per day at half capacity (Courtis 1884; Wolle 1963).

The greatest mine in the district, the Spotted Horse, was located half a mile above the Maginnis on Gold Hill. The mine was discovered by Joe Anderson in 1880 and was reported to be an undeveloped discovery pit in 1884. Values of select samples from the claim were of great variety and richness. Later, Anderson extracted high grade ore from the discovery shaft. Anderson sold the mine to Perry McAdow who successfully developed the mine and erected a mill to work the ore. The celebrated mine made fortunes for some owners and bankrupted others. It remained active until 1919 (Courtis 1884; Wolle 1963).

The first mill appears to have been erected at the Collar mine in 1882. When the enterprise failed, the 10-stamp (one source says 20-stamp) mill was obtained by P. W. McAdow for use in his Spotted Horse mine. A cyanide mill was erected in 1893 on the Gilt Edge properties. This mill was the first cyanide mill of 100-ton capacity to be erected in the United States. The district was somewhat unique to Montana in that nearly all of the major mines erected their own mills and little consolidation and centralization occurred. As the cyanide process was perfected, most of these mills were enlarged and modernized (Wolle 1963; Munson 1987).

The Warm Springs district contains several small mining communities: Andersonville, Maiden, New Year and Gilt Edge were the most significant while Alpine and Rustle were of lesser stature. Andersonville was named after "Skookum" Joe Anderson, one of the area's original discoverers of gold in 1880. Anderson and David Jones were in the Black Hills in 1879 and from there wandered to the Yogo district and then to the Judith Mountains in the spring of 1880. In June they were joined by C. C. Snow and F. T. McPartlan. The first paying strike in the district occurred in Alpine Gulch on June 10, 1880. A few days later strikes were made on Warm Springs Gulch and then in Maiden Gulch. One prospector, J. R. Kemper, was said to have worked ground that paid $115 per sluice box (Wolle 1963; Foster 1990).

Andersonville had only one quarter-mile long street, but it was lined with homes, two stores, two saloons, a hotel, a restaurant, a blacksmith shop, a feed stable, a steam saw mill, a post office and an express office. At its peak it had a population of 200. However, as the nearby town of Maiden grew, Andersonville declined.

Maiden dates from April 1881 when Snow and Kemper established a townsite. They named the proposed town after the daughter of a friend, Mrs. James H. Conings, who they call the "Little Maiden". The town of Maiden was not platted and surveyed. Rather lots were delineated and claimed by the simple expedient of building fences around them. By 1882 the town boasted a number of log and lumber houses, eight saloons, two clothing stores, five general merchandise stores, a dry-goods store, a butcher shop, a blacksmith, two barbers, a feed stable, a lawyer office, a doctor, a hotel and a restaurant. The attorney was S. C. Edgerton, the son of Montana's first territorial governor (Rocky Mountain Husbandman 1882; Wolle 1963).

In 1883 the town's existence was threatened by the U. S. Army. Because the town was situated in the Fort Maginnis Military Reservation, the army posted an order that all persons and personal property must be vacated from the Reservation within 60 days. After a hasty meeting a protest petition was drafted. After careful consideration, the Army relented and reduced the size of the military reservation so that Maiden and its mines were excluded.

By 1885, Maiden had grown to the point that it sought the county seat of the newly created Fergus County. The town had grown to the point that it had 13 saloons, a newspaper, a Cornet band and a population of several hundred. The town was laid out on three streets and had every indication of prosperity. However, the county seat was awarded to Lewistown (Mineral Argus 1885; Wolle 1963).

In 1886, the town joined in the rising hysteria aimed at the Chinese populations in mining camps. Several meetings were held in the first weeks of the year on how to deal with the situation. Warnings sufficed to dislodge the majority of the sojourners. However, when the published deadline was reached a group of armed, masked men escorted the last Celestials out of town. The affair was conducted peacefully and the displaced men were able to send for their belongings the next day. The town newspaper pointed with pride that the deed had been done with no violence or vicious passions (Mineral Argus 1886; Wolle 1963).

The population of the town peaked in 1888 with a population of about 1,200. However, after the 1880s, the town slowly withered. Some mines shut down and others were worked by lessees. Buildings began to stand vacant. In 1896 the town contained fewer than 200 people. In 1905, a fire swept through the town and there was no interest in rebuilding (Wolle 1963).

Five miles from Maiden, gold was discovered at the New Year lode in 1880. The mine was developed in the mid-1890s when a pilot cyanide plant was built. When the plant proved itself, it was enlarged. The operation included a coal mine at the mill site which was used to power the mill (Wolle 1963).

Across the mountains from Maiden was the camp of Gilt Edge. Placer prospectors worked the area in 1880 and some lode mining began in 1881. However, the ore was difficult to reduce and so had to wait for efficient treatment methods. In 1893 a group of Great Falls capitalists obtained control of the Gilt Edge mines and erected a cyanide mill at the foot of the mountains. The mill cost $35,000 and had capacity of 100 tons. Gilt Edge ore ran $20 per ton. Fifty men were put to work and a town sprang up around the mill. By November of the year the community had three hotels, two restaurants, a general store, five saloons, a butcher shop and a livery stable. At the end of the year the mill had produced $60,000 in gold bullion and had two bars of gold on display in the Cascade Bank of Great Falls. Despite these good beginnings, the company soon could not meet payroll. Men either worked without pay or demanded their pay and were fired. When the company began issuing worthless checks, the sheriff shut down the mill. In the unusually severe winter of 1893-94, the unemployed men faced starvation and had to scrounge for food to feed their families. Despite this shaky start, the town eventually prospered and was awarded its own post office. By 1898 the local mines were in full production under the control of the Great Northern Mining and Development Company. In 1900 there were 350 people in the town and it was considered by many to be the best camp in the county. A hospital in the town employed four or five doctors and provided rooms for traveling dentists. Three shifts of miners worked in the mines until the peak years of 1907-08 when it was reported that 1,500 people called Gilt Edge home. The mines continued to produce for several more years, but eventually the mill was dismantled and the mines and the town were abandoned (Freeman 1916; Wolle 1963; Foster 1990).

It has been estimated that the mines and mills of the district had produced $7,000,000 by 1914. Most of this production was from the Spotted Horse mine. Production figures for the period between 1915 and 1932 are not available, however, from 1932 to 1947 when the Tail Holt was the principle mine, the district produced 1,291 ounces of gold worth $36,989; 30,325 ounces of silver worth $21,824; 8,339 pounds of copper valued at $1,002, and 5,787 pounds of lead worth $276. Zinc in the ore was not reimbursed from the smelter. During the latter period all production came from lessees.

Other important mines in the district include the Gold Hill (WPA 1940).


Sahinen (1935) places the district in the heart of the Judith Mountains. Lyden (1948) talks about mining activity at the headwaters of Warm Springs and Ford Creeks along with placers on Maiden and Alpine Creeks. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by the AMRB (1994) which is essentially the same as Sahinen and Lyden's descriptions.



The Collar mine is on the east side of Collar Gulch on Crystal Mountain, about two miles east of Maiden. It was the first mine to be developed in the Maiden area. The mine was discovered in August of 1880. The mine was developed by the Collar Mining and Improvement Company. A 350 foot adit was driven and a 190 foot shaft sunk to meet the adit. Drifts were driven on the 70 and 120 foot levels. The mill worked for only a short time. In 1881, part interest in the mine was sold to the Omaha Smelting Company for $30,000. In 1882, the district's first mill, a 20-stamp mill, was erected; the mill featured 850 pound stamps, 12 pans and 6 settlers.Improvements were made in the mill. Beginning in 1884, the mine was sold to St. Paul interests, but the mine was quickly attached and then sold at sheriff's sale. The mill equipment was bought by P. W. McAdow and moved to the Spotted Horse. The mine was later developed in 1906 by the Bellis Brothers who drifted 600 feet into the mountain. The mine shipped cyanide ores with traces of tellurides. The first contact with this ore was 40 feet thick. By 1906 the mine was reported to have shipped a total of $125,000 in ore (Anon 1906; Robertson 1950; Munson 1987).


The Cumberland mine (24FR675) is in the Gilt Edge sub-district half a mile northeast of the district's leading producer, the Spotted Horse. The mine is composed of the Cumberland, Cumberland No. 2, Buffalo, North Pole, and North Kentucky claims. The mine was located in the 1880s but was not developed until 1904 when it was leased and bonded by Oscar Stephens and Peter Rosse. They mined and shipped only high grade ore from a 183 foot shaft with three levels. One raise begun 50 feet below the surface showed good ore values to grassroots. The partnership expended $7,000 on mine development and redeemed the bond in May. In 1906 the shaft was sunk to the 250 foot level. An adit 1,000 feet long was later driven to connect with the bottom of the shaft. A winze, 30 feet from the portal, was sunk in ore to a cross cut. The sudden death of Oscar Stephens closed the mine in 1907. The next year the mine was sold to Theodore L. Lammers & Co. who formed the Cumberland Mining Co. A 150 ton cyanide plant was installed in 1910 to work the low grade ores; the mill featured a crusher, rolls and Wilfley tables worked in conjunction with a 100 ton cyanide circuit. From 1910 to 1915 the mine was owned and operated by James Breen who employed 60 to 75 men. The mine was closed in 1912 and reopened in 1916 by lessees. All of the ores above adit level had been removed by 1916. A 40 foot winze led to a discovery of further ores below the adit level. By 1916, the mine had produced $270,000 in ore (Wolle 1963; Munson 1988).

From 1916 to 1918 the mine was leased to Coolidge, Bryant, Wieglenda and associates. They reduced the ore in the nearby Spotted Horse mill. Some cleaning up was done around the Cumberland mill in 1923, but the mill remained inactive until it was destroyed by fire in 1948. When visited in 1988, a large glory hole, collapsed portal, several prospect pits and adits were recorded in addition to the remains of the mill (Anon 1906; Freeman 1916; WPA 1941; Robertson 1950; Munson 1988).

Gilt Edge

The Gilt Edge (24FR638) mine is on the east side of the mountains south of Maiden. The lode deposits were located in 1884 by Wilson, Anderson and Munson; the principal claim being the Gold Reef. Soon thereafter the mine was sold to Butts, Collins and Armington. These men erected a crude cyanide mill at the base of the mountains to work the ore and operated the mine for a short time. But the ores were difficult to reduce and so little further development occurred. In 1893 the Ammon-Stivers Mining Co. (a group of Great Falls men lead by Robert A. Ammon) bought the Gilt Edge mines and rebuilt the cyanide mill. It was the first cyanide plant of its kind in the United States. The $35,000 improvements allowed 100 tons of $20 ore to be worked per day. Fifty workers and their families established a small mining camp at the mill. By the end of 1893 the mill had produced $60,000 in bullion and the town had grown to include numerous businesses and supported five saloons. Despite this apparent boom, the mill was still inefficient and so the company could not meet payroll. Some miners continued to work with hopes of future payment. When the company began to write worthless checks, a sheriff was dispatched to shut down the mill. Two employees who were tipped off about the sheriff by creditor Frank Moshner took all the bullion in the mill and managed to get it to Great Falls. Although the sheriff followed in hot pursuit, the bullion was sold and the money given to Ammon. An unusually severe winter followed and the miners and their families were reduced to starvation. When their plight became known, food and other aid were sent from the valley and company warehouses were opened. Ammon eventually ended up in Sing Sing Prison for activities in the east (Robertson 1950; Wolle 1963; Foster 1990).

The camp was nearly deserted in the mid-1890s while the mine and mill were operated by leinholders. In 1897 the property was purchased by the Great Northern Mining & Development Co. By 1898 the mines were again in full production and in 1899 a new 150 ton mill was erected closer to the mine. Later, this mill was expanded to 350 tons and had six leaching tanks each with a capacity of 175 tons; these were used in conjunction with a Brown straight line furnace. A new haulage adit was driven from the mill to connect via raises to the mine (Robertson 1950).

In 1902 the mine was sold to the Gold Reef Mining Co. who operated the mine and mill until 1909. In 1902 the main adit was 5,000 feet long with 2,000 feet in ore bodies. In 1904 the mine and mill were shipping $30,000 to $35,000 in gold bullion each month. Ultimately, the mine also included a 300 foot incline shaft and a 200 foot winze sunk on the haulage adit. An incline shaft begun in 1904 and sunk to 100 feet was ultimately extended to 300 feet and a 200 foot winze sunk on the haulage adit. John A. Drake became the owner of the mine in 1909 and leased it out to the Gilt Edge Lease Mining Co. until 1912. At the time of the sale the mine was said to contain 2.5 miles of underground workings. The mill was dismantled sometime before 1916. A cyanide plant was erected at the first mill site in 1918 to rework 8,200 tons of tailing. Some testing was done on the site in 1940 and 1941 by the Newmont Mining Company. The mine is credited with $1,250,000 in gold. Most of the gold worked in the mill came from the Gold Reef and Great Northern properties (Anon 1904; Freeman 1916; Robertson 1950).

McGinnis or Maginnis

Located 1,500 feet from the Spotted Horse mine, the McGinnis group was composed of five patented claims including the Montana Lode, the Oro Cashe Lode, Oro Cashe Extension, Oro Cashe mill site and the Holter Placer. The mine was discovered just west of the divide between Warm Springs and Maiden Creeks in 1881 and worked until 1899. On the west side of the mine the town of Maiden developed. In 1884 the Maginnis Mining Company was incorporated by Messrs. Houser and Holter of Helena and capitalized to $500,000. The company purchased the Oro Cashe and the Montana Lodes and abandoned the small 2-stamp mill that previously worked the ores in favor of a Huntington mill. Concentrators, amagamators and a 50 horsepower steam plant were also installed. The previous mill was said to have lost 60% of the ore values as it worked the soft lead carbonate ores of the mine (Hoyt 1915; Robertson 1950; Munson 1988).

In 1887 the Maginnis Mining Company patented (MS#12134) the Oro Cashe lode and site properties and later the Montana lode. They obtained the Spotted Horse mine in 1889. Production was expanded and reported to be profitable from 1886 to 1896. However, the mill apparently worked only intermittently and had a reputation for being closed. In 1889 twelve men were reportedly put to work repairing the mill and adding a cyanide circuit. The total production from this first period was estimated to be around $1,500,000 (Hoyt 1915; Robertson 1950; Munson 1988).

In 1904 a lessee, G. M. Anderson, struck a rich deposit in a winze. Later that summer the mine was sold to the banking firm of Conrad-Stanford of Great Falls and Helena. The mine shipped its ore to the East Helena Smelter until the mill could once again be remodeled. A 60 horsepower gas hoist was installed on the shaft to facilitate the removal of ore (Munson 1988).

The mine was reopened in 1909 and worked in a small way for three or four years by the Gold Reef Leasing Mining Company. They added the use of a 10 stamp mill to the machinery already at the mine's mill. Production from the second period was reported at only $328,000. Ores averaged $100 per ton, but one small body of ore netted $5000 per ton with select samples running $68,000 per ton. Ores above the adit levels were oxidized while those below contained some copper sulphides. Gold in the ore was free-milling or in tellurides associated with sulphides (Hoyt 1915; Robertson 1950; Munson 1988).

The mine was worked from two adits, 300 and 1,450 feet long. A 225 foot winze was sunk in the lower adit at a point 800 feet from the portal. Several levels were driven from the winze. A south shaft was sunk on the Montana claim near the divide around 1897. It was reported that 1,500 tons of 60-ounce silver ore was shipped from this shaft to Wickes to be smelted. By 1910, 9,000 feet of underground had been developed. Heavy water flow in the lowest level prevented the extraction of some $16 gold ores. Numerous large cavities were encountered in the limestone; one of which was 150 feet deep (Robertson 1950).

In 1915 the mine had again changed hands to the Dartmouth Land Company and its former owner Holter. The mine was reported to be employing underhand stoping methods and hoisting ore by hand windlass. The shaft had reached 426 feet when it encountered a diorite intrusion. No effort had been made up to that time to drift from the shaft. In 1916 the 10- stamp mill was overhauled and new equipment installed. The high grade ore was run through the mill and concentrators while the low grade ore was worked by a cyanide plant. From 1904 to 1940 the mine reported 18,674 ounces of gold, 24,255 ounces of silver, and 21,807 pounds of lead were milled from 34,993 tons of ore (Hoyt 1915; Freeman 1916; Robertson 1950; Munson 1988).

When visited in 1988 the site contained the collapsing remains of a mill building that contained a 10 stamp mill, a Huntington mill, a 50 h.p. steam engine, two steam driven piston pumps, a redwood tank and various bins and chutes. A cyanide circuit was located in front of the mill. In addition to the mill, a mine office, collapsed haulage tunnel, several shafts, pits and glory holes were recorded (Munson 1988).


The Mammoth mine is located on the southeast side of Pekay Peak about 2 miles north of Gilt Edge. The mine was located in the 1880s, but little work was done until after the turn of the century. A 60 ton cyanide mill was constructed on the property in 1904 to run $6.00 per ton gold ore. However, the mine and mill were closed by problems with the poor returns and with stockholders after only a short time of production. In 1919 the property was operated by the Judith Mountain Mining Co. and 250 feet of development was done. The mine was worked out of adits, open cuts and shallow shafts. The mill burned down in 1922 (Freeman 1916; Robertson 1950).

New Year

The New Year property was located in the NE of section 16, T16N, R19E and was situated west of Maiden on the north side of the range near the top of the ridge at the headwaters of New Year Creek. The property, consisting of 18.5 claims, was discovered in 1880. In 1897 the New Year and Old Bach were owned by Harmon and Norman. In 1898 a small mill and cyanide plant were built in the bottom of the gulch two miles downhill from the mine. However, the cyanide process was not successful owing to too coarse of material being introduced to the cyanide.

In 1902 the mill was enlarged and the mine workings extended by a 500 foot adit. Off the main shaft of the mine a crystal cave was encountered; the chamber measured 300 feet by 100 feet. Although extensively developed, the mine reported little production. While the milling problems appeared to be solved, the operation was forced to close by litigation.

The mill was reopened at 150-ton capacity in 1911 when the Rheingold Mining Co. obtained the property. In 1912 the old mill was torn down and a 300 ton mill with cyanide plant erected. An undated publication from this period stated that an aerial tram was to be built at a cost of $15,000. Other in-place improvements included a 1.25 mile ditch built for $2,000 and a 10 -drill compressor. Fifty men were employed in the mine and mill. The plant was powered by coal from an adjacent coal mine also owned by the company. From 1911 to 1912, 10,000 tons of ore were sent through the mill, but only 206 ounces of gold and 11 ounces of silver were recovered. For obvious reasons, the mine was shut down and its equipment was sold (Robertson 1950).

In 1915 the adjacent Gold Acres mine was opened with an 800 foot adit with drifts and raises. Ore valued at $4 per ton from this mine was then treated in the New Year mill (Freeman 1916; Wolle 1963).

Spotted Horse

The Spotted Horse mine (24FR673) is located one mile east of Maiden on the west side of Maiden Canyon. The mine was discovered by "Skookum" Joe Anderson and David Jones in 1881. After extracting some high grade ore from the discovery shaft, Anderson sold the mine to Perry McAdow and B. Dexter. Although McAdow was confined to a wheelchair, his considerable mining knowledge allowed him to develop the property and by 1883 he was sole owner. Under combined management with his wife, a 10-stamp mill was moved from the Collar mine and erected on the Spotted Horse. Vanners were added to recover values from tellurides and sulphides. A rumored one million dollars of ore was reduced in this mill. Some of the telluride ore was so rich that it was taken out by a spoon and placed directly in small sacks. The mine was bonded to the Jay Gould Company in 1892, but they were not able to manage it properly and ended their effort deep in debt. The mine reverted to McAdow who then reportedly took out another million dollars ( Lincoln 1911; Lyden 1948; Wolle 1963; Munson 1988).

In 1883 the mine was sold to the Miginnis Mining Company of Hauser and Holter. They spent $80,000 on a new 20-stamp mill and $20,000 on other mine improvements. The 2-compartment shaft sunk to 260 feet with three levels. The mine and mill employed 20 men and the mill was kept in constant operation. Despite these improvements, the mine could not pay its way (Munson 1988).

By 1891, McAdow had repossessed the mine and was in the process of once again making it a fabulous producer. He radically expanded operations and soon had 200 men working around the clock and receiving a payroll of $23,000 per month. In 1893 a $100,000 gold brick from the Spotted Horse was proposed to head the Montana Exhibit at the World's Fair (Lincoln 1911; Lyden 1948; Wolle 1963; Munson 1988).

In 1893 the mine finally left McAdow's hands and became the property of the Double Eagle Mining Company. In 1893 a body of rich free milling ore worth $30,000 was extracted from an open quarry. Free gold was observed in large masses imbedded in irregular shaped masses of fluorite. The ore was peculiar in that it did not contain lead. The Double Eagle Mining Company did well with the property, but a crooked manager skipped with the mill's profits. The property landed in the hand of its creditors, the Bank of Fergus County and the Power Mercantile Company of Lewistown. M. L. Poland then managed the mine until 1896 when it was sold to J. L. Bright of Columbus, Ohio. The property changed hands several more times until the St. Paul Montana Company acquired it as part of a larger deal with the Johanna Gold Mining Company. The St. Paul company was primarily interested in the Whiskey Gulch and New Year properties; the Spotted Horse was thrown in to complete the deal. As a result the mine languished. However, a 40 ton cyanide plant was erected to recover the lost values in the impounded mill tails. The process extracted 95% of the $12 gold per ton that remained in the tails (Lincoln 1911; Lyden 1948; Robertson 1950; Wolle 1963; Munson 1988).

The Spotted Horse was closed in 1902 and remained idle for several years. In 1909 lessees shipped 23 tons of ore from the mine and in 1910 the mine was acquired by the Cumberland Gold Mining Co. In 1912 the mine reopened under lease to Coolidge, Bryant and associates. The mine worked four ore chimneys to a depth of 585 feet. The new company employed 15 men and in 20 months shipped $200,000 in ore and had, at the time of reporting, $145,000 was awaiting shipment. A new cyanide mill was built on the property in 1916. The new mill was rated at 100 tons but realistically could only work 75 tons per day. Prior to the construction of the mill only $20 or better ores could be shipped for treatment; the mill allowed $3 per ton ores to be worked. The operation reportedly was then able to produce $12,000 in gold per month. By 1916 the property had produced a total of $5,000,000 in ore; this accounts for over half of the district's total production (Hoyt 1915; Freeman 1916; Munson 1988).

The mine was developed through a 2-compartment shaft that eventually reached 450 feet. A winze on the 450 foot level extended the mine down to 585 feet. In all, eight levels were developed. One ore shoot on the lowest level produced 850 tons of $22 ore (Robertson 1950).

The mine continued to be worked intermittently until 1919. The increased war-time wages, the depletion of high-grade ores and the death of an active owner conspired to close the mine. Finally, a lessee working the mine quit hard rock to enter the oil business. The mill was dismantled around 1935 and all buildings and equipment removed from the property. No production has been recorded since 1936 and the workings were reported to be caved in 1948. When visited in 1988, the features recorded included the main shaft, glory hole, discovery shaft, a small concrete dam on Spotted Horse Creek to empound tailings (Robertson 1950; Wolle 1963; Munson 1988).

Tail Holt

The Tail Holt mine is located in NE section 30 T17N, R20 E on the northeast side of Big Grassy Peak, about three miles northeast of Maiden. The mine was discovered in 1911, worked for six months and then abandoned. In 1927 the mine was actively developed by Coolidge, Bryant, Wieglenda and others. In its first year only one carload of ore was shipped. The next three years the mine was developed with several hundred feet of drifts and crosscuts. A mill and cyanide plant were erected on the mine to work the ore. From 1927 to 1934 when the operation was closed, the mine was credited with 1,166 ounces of gold and 647 ounces of silver from 2,961 tons of ore. The mine continued to be developed and mined through the 1930s (Corry 1933; Robertson 1950).

War Eagle

The War Eagle mine was situated in NW section 7 T16N, R20E near the Cumberland, one mile south of Maiden on a ridge extending northwest from Pekay Peak. The claim was the first lode mine in the district when it was staked by David Jones and Joe Anderson in 1880. The mine attracted attention to the lode mining possibilities of the district when ore samples ran 80 ounces of silver and some gold per ton. In 1885 the mine was owned by Jones, Anderson, McAdow and Dexter. In 1905 it was owned and operated by Burr and Stuart; later it would be owned by Burr alone. By 1910 the mine was shipping primarily zinc ore with some gold, silver and lead values. From 1910 to 1913 the mine produced 4 ounces of gold, 510 ounces of silver, 2,348 pounds of copper, 74,464 pounds of lead and 159,295 pounds of zinc from a mere 340 tons of ore. The mine was idle after 1913 (Robertson 1950).

The mine was worked through three adits and an incline shaft sunk on a chimney of ore at the limestone-porphyry contact. The upper adit connected to the shaft at 80 feet. Some oxidized ore was hauled to the Spotted Horse mill and some lead ore treated at a small lead smelter in Maiden. After 1911, the ore was shipped to the Ozark Mining and Refining Co. in Kansas (Robertson 1950).

Whiskey Gulch

The Whiskey Gulch claims are on the south side of a ridge south of Whiskey Gulch about two miles south of Gilt Edge. The claims were located around 1884 or 1885. The property was first active at the turn of the century. Ore was sent down a short tramway to a small mill in Whiskey Gulch. In 1899, a 100-ton cyanide mill was built by the Central Montana Mines Co. By 1904 the mine was owned and operated by the Chicago Montana Mining Co. and worked in conjunction with the Big Six mines. The mill was expanded to 220 tons and worked ore from both the Whiskey Gulch and Big Six. When last worked the property was in the hands of the Cave Gulch Mining Co. Although earlier figures are not available, the mine reported $165,000 production from 1903 to 1904 while working $5.50 per ton gold ore. Problems with the stockholders idled the mine prior to 1916 (Anon. 1904; Freeman 1916; Robertson 1950).

Other important mines in the district which were discussed by Weed and Pirsson (1898) and Robertson (1950) were the Tail Holt, Silver Bullion (Peter Rosso's mine), Black Bull (or Globe), Allen Silver, Florence (or Get Even), Pilgrim, Black Hawk, Justice, Matthews and Last Chance No. 2, Great Falls and Judith Mining Co., Western Mines Corp, Bolivia, Northern Pacific, Last Chance, Old Nelson, Clara May and Ella, Depression, Boulder, Black Diamond, Hardscrabble, Wacasek, She, Peerless, McEvany (or Big Six), Iron Chancellor, White Elephant, Goodwin, Ruby Gulch and Bay Horse.


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

Blixt, John E.

1933 "Geology and Gold Deposits of the North Mocassin Mountains, Fergus County, Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Memoir 8.

Byrne, John and Frank Hunter

1898 Ninth Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. State Publishing Company, Helena.

1901 Twelfth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

Byrne, John and John J. Barry

1902 Fourteenth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

Calderhead, J. H.

1898 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 6th Annual Report."

Calderhead, J. H. and O. M. Holmes

1900 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 7th Annual Report."

Corry, Andrew

1933 "Some Gold Deposits in Broadwater, Beaverhead, Phillips, and Fergus Counties, Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Memoir 10.

Courtis, William Monroe

1884 "Gold in Fossiliferous Limestone in the Judith Mountains, Montana", Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 37, pp. 478-479.

Deal, Babbie and Loretta McDonald, editors

1976 The Heritage Book of Central Montana. Fergus county Bi-Centennial Heritage Committee.

DeKalb, H. L.

1923 "A Guide to the Geology of Fergus County, Montana", Lewistown , Montana, Argus Print. & Supply Co.

Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict

1908 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report.

Forrest, Richard A.

1971 "Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Warm Springs-Gilt Edge District, Fergus County, Montana", M.S. thesis, Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, Butte, Montana.

Foster, John R.

1990 "Cultural Resource Survey: Kendall, Montana".

Freeman, Henry C.

1895 "The Ammon Mines, Fergus County, Montana", Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 59, pp. 416-417.

Freeman, Otis W.

1915 "The North Moccasin Mountains of Montana", Mining and Engineering World, Vol. 42, pp. 947-949.

Freeman, Otis W.

1916 "Gold Mining in the Judith Mountains, Montana", Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. 112, pp. 863-865.

1917 "Mineral Prospects in Fergus County", Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 103, pp. 660-662.

1919 "Geography and Geology of Fergus Co., Montana", Fergus Co. High School, Bull. 2, Lewistown.

GCM Services

1986 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of Selected Abandoned Coal Mine Sites Throughout Montana and Selected Hardrock Mine Sites in Butte", prepared for the Montana Department of State Lands by GCM Services.

Hall, J. H. and M. L. Rickman

1912 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, Thirteenth Report, for years 1911 and 1912.

Heritage Research Center

1985 "Cultural Resource Inventory, Lewistown - East, Fergus County, Montana, FR 57-3 (1) 88" submitted to the Montana Department of Highways by Heritage Research Center, Missoula.

Hogan, Joseph and Jacob Oliver

1891 Third Annual Report of Inspector of Mines, for the fiscal year 1891, Journal Publishing Company, Helena.

1892 Fourth Annual Report of Inspector of Mines, for the fiscal year 1892, Printers & Binders, Helena.

Hoyt, B. F.

1914 "The Judith Mountains, Fergus County, Montana", Mining and Engineering World, Vol. 41, No. 21, pp. 957-958.

1915 "Gold Hill Section of Maiden District, Montana", Mining and Engineering World, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 171-172.

Kemp, James Furman

1898 "Geological Occurrence and Associates of Telluride Gold Ores", Mineral Industry, Vol. 6, pp. 295-320. Lincoln, Francis Church 1911 " Some Gold Deposits of the Northwest", Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 92, No. 9, pp. 408-410.

Lingren, Waldemar

1900 "Metasomatic Processes in Fissure-veins", American Institute of Mining Engineers Transcripts. Vol. 30, pp. 578-692.

Lingren, Waldemar

1933 "Differentiation and Ore Deposition, Cordilleran Region of the United States", Ore Deposits of the Western States (Lindgren Volume), pp. 152- 180, American Institute of Mining and Metal Engineering.

Lyden, Charles J.

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

Miller, Don C.

1983 Ghost Towns of Montana. Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado

Mineral Argus

1882 to 1886 As quoted by Wolle (1963).

Munson, Gene

1987 "Inventory and Assessment of Cultural Resources at the Elk Peak Project in the Judith Mountains", prepared for Blue Range Engineering, Inc., by

GCM Services, Butte.

1988 "Inventory and Assessment of Cultural Resources at the Spotted Horse Mine Proposed Tailings Site and Selected Adjacent Areas", prepared for Cimarron Exploration by GCM Services, Butte.

Penkake, Judith

1975 "Giltedge Was a Typical Gold Camp", Central Montana Ghost Towns. Montana Ghost Town Preservation Societyas Part of the Nation's Bicentenniel, Lewiston.

Robertson, Almon F.

1950 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (Except Fuels) Fergus County, Montana", U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Information Circular #7544.

Rocky Mountain Husbandman

1882 Correspondence to the newspaper as quoted by Wolle (1963).

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Shoemaker, C. S.

1894 Fifth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana, Intermountain Publishing Company, Butte.

Swallow, G. C. and J. B. Trevarthen

1890 Reports of the Inspector of Mines and Deputy Inspector of Mines for the Six Months Ending November 30th, 1889. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.

Swallow, G. C., J. B. Trevarthen and Jacob Oliver

1891 Reports of Inspectors of Mines, State of Montana, year ending November 30th, 1890. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.

Weed, Walter Harvey and Pirsson, Louis V.

1898 "Geology and Mineral Resources of the Judith Mountains of Montana", U. S. Geological Survey, 18th Ann. Report, Pt. 3, pp. 437-615.

Weed, Walter Harvey

1896 "Mineral Resources of the Judith Mountains, Montana", Engr. Min. Jour., Vol. 61, pp. 496-498.

1907 Copper Mines of the World, New York.

Western History Research (WHR)

1992 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of Selected Warm Springs District Mines, Fergus County, Montana", prepared for Chen Northern by Western History Research, Bozeman.

Wolle, Muriel Sibell

1963 Montana Pay Dirt. Sage Books, Athens, Ohio

Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey

1940 Directory of Montana Mining Properties. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 20. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

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.


1904 "Mining in Fergus County, Montana", Mining World, Vol. 20, No. 22, pp. 23-26.

1906 "The Maiden District, Montana", Mining World, Vol. 24, No. 21, p. 636.

1910 "Judith Basin, Montana", Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. 101, No. 13, pp. 398-400.

1976Fergus County Argus, 1901 Edition Reprinted by the Lewistown News-Argus