aka Spring Hill

The West Gallatin district has seen very little mining activity. Some placer activity was reported in the West Fork of the Gallatin River in the period between 1880 and 1890. About $600 in gold was recovered in 1911, 1912 and 1915. In 1911, the year of greatest production, 20.5 ounces of fine gold were recovered. No production has been reported since 1916 (Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948; Reed 1951).

In 1916 the Gallatin River was surveyed for a Spokane, Washington based dredging company and the early reports stated enthusiastically that the district would become a second Alder Gulch. Dredging was most favorably recommended for the Upper and Lower Basins of the Gallatin valley. The upper end of the Upper Basin is located at the junction of Taylor's Fork, in the Eldridge district. The Lower Basin is along the Gallatin below the mouth of the West Fork. The lower area was estimated to have 1,000 acres of dredgable lake beds and 200 acres of benches. The gravel was said to contain $2.25 in gold per cubic yard. No development or dredging occurred (Lyden 1948).

In 1938, it was reported that a dragline shovel was working at the junction of the Gallatin and the West Fork. The shovel fed material into a washing plant. At the site of the operation the gravel was about three feet deep above a reef. Although the plant may have recovered some gold, it did not officially record any production (Lyden 1948). Placering continued on a small scale in the district until around 1945 (Reed 1951).

In 1901, an amphibole asbestos deposit was located 2,000 to 4,000 feet west of the highway near Karst Resort. The asbestos was discovered by Peter F. Karst while on a hunting trip. About 800 tons of the mineral was hauled out on horse-back in the next few years. In 1935, the Karstolite Company opened the deposit with bulldozed open cuts and the material was marketed as wall and ceiling insulation. In 1938, Montana Asbestos Company operated the mine for two years and employed an aerial tram to transport the ore to a concentration mill near the river. The mine was again idle until 1947 when a road was bulldozed to the mine by Interstate Products Company. Total production of the Karst mine was said to be 1,800 tons of fluffed asbestos (Perry 1948).


Sahinen (1935) states that the district is on the West Fork of the Gallatin River about 30 miles south of Bozeman.

Lyden (1948) discusses the mines of the Spring Hill district on the West Fork of the Gallatin River about 30 miles south-southwest of Bozeman.

Figure 1 shows the district as defined by the AMRB (1994) with the Spring Hill district along the West Fork shown as described by Lyden (1948) and Sahinen (1935).


No metallic mines are specifically 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.

Perry, Eugene S.

1948 "Talc, Graphite, Vermiculite and Asbestos Deposits in Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology,

Memoir #27


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.

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


Reports of Inspectors of Mines, State of Montana, Year ending November 30th, 1890

. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.