The Eldridge mining district is located in rugged mountainous terrain along the Gallatin River with the Madison Range on the west and the Gallatin Range on the east. Limited placering occurred along Taylor Creek (or Taylor's Fork), an east-flowing tributary of the Gallatin River, between 1880 and 1890 with the most activity and interest occurring in 1916 when the Gallatin River was surveyed for a Spokane, Washing-ton based dredging company. Reports issued by the dredging company stated enthusiastically that the district would become a second Alder Gulch. Dredging was most favorably recommended for the Upper and Lower Basins, the Upper Basin being within the Eldridge district. The upper end of the Upper Basin is at the junction of Taylor's Fork and the Gallatin. This area contained an estimated 1,200 acres of dredgable lake beds and 300 acres of benches. The gravels were reported to contain 18 cents of gold per cubic yard, but much of the gold was so fine that it floated through the sluices. Despite the optimistic report, no dredging occurred (Lyden 1948; Reed 1951).
The area west of the Gallatin River in the Taylor Creek drainage of the Madison Range has some mineralization and there has been some lode mining but no production has been reported (Lyden 1948). The few lode mines are in an area of Cretaceous rocks. In 1919 some development occurred on the claims of the Apex Developing Company. In 1934, the Jewell Property became active, producing 37 fine ounces of gold and by 1954 the operation had recovered about 58 ounces of gold (Lyden 1948).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Sahinen (1935) places the district on Taylor's Fork of the Gallatin River about 50 miles south of Bozeman.
Lyden (1948) merely states that the district is in the southern part of the county. In his discussion of Gallatin River dredging, he describes the Upper Basin at the junction of Taylor's Fork and the Gallatin River.
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
Beyond the minimal information contained in references to the Apex and Jewell properties, no individual mines have been discussed in the mining literature.
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
Hogan, Joseph and Jacob Oliver
Third Annual Report of Inspector of Mines, for the fiscal year 1891
, Journal Publishing Company, Helena.
Lyden, Charles J.
1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26
. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Reed, Glenn C.
1951 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (Except Fuels) Gallatin County, Montana", U.S. Bureau of Mines,
Information Circular #7607
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.