Welcome Creek is on lower Rock Creek north of Philipsburg and immediately west of the one time community of Quigley. Gold placers were discovered on Welcome Creek in 1891 and it has been estimated that the stream produced at least $30,000 in gold prior to 1904. The district then lay quiet until the boost in gold prices during the Great Depression. From 1931 to 1941 excluding 1940, the sluices of the district produced small amounts of gold. In 1932 one operator produced $130 in gold. The largest production for the district occurred in 1941 when eight ounces of gold were recovered. This gold tested at 920 fine and was apparently from two different sources. Some of the gold was described as light yellow while gold from another source was a dull yellow. The gold was found in association with magnetite hematite and simonite (Lyden 1948; Rowe 1911; Sahinen 1935).

Welcome Creek flows through an area of Beltian rocks which have been intruded near the mouth of the creek by a granitic stock. The gold apparently originated in small veins related to the Tertiary intrusives and eroded out of the veins by the flow of the creek to bedeposited in stream and bar gravels. No production has been reported from deep mines (Sahinen 1935; Lyden 1948).


Sahinen (1935) and Lyden (1948) state that Welcome Creek flows east out of the Sapphire Range and empties into Rock Creek about 14 miles south of Clinton and about 10 miles south of the Bonita siding. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by the AMRB (1994) which includes the Welcome Creek drainage and some additional area to the north and south.


Big 8 Placer

The Big 8 placer in Welcome Creek is the only mine with recorded production. The operation was listed as active in 1934 (WPA 1941; Gilbert 1935).


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

Emmons, William Harvey and Frank C. Calkins

1913 "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Philipsburg Quadrangle, Montana",

U. S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 78.

Gilbert, Frederick C.

1935 "Directory of Montana Mining Properties",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 15

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Rowe, J. P.

1911 "Placer Mining Operations in Western Montana ",

Mining World

, Vol. 34, pp. 877-878.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

McCleod, C. Milo

1986 "Cultural Resource Inventory Project Report Flex and French Basin Land Exchanges", Bitterroot National Forest Report No. 86-BR-SO-1.

Peterson, Ted

1981 "Cultural Resources Inventory: Burlington Northern Land Exchange" Bitterroot National Forest Report No. 81-BR-1-4.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Sharwood, William J.

1907 "Some Associations of Gold with Pyrite and Tellurides",

Min. and Sci. Press

, Vol. 94, No. 4, pp. 117-119.

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.