The mining in the Beaver Gulch mining district apparently began in 1897. On January 1, 1898 the first sack of ore from the district was received by Helena's Chief of Police who was the manager of the Beavertown Mining Association. The company was developing a galena lead in quartz with values in gold, silver and copper. The Beavertown Mining Association was a Helena company with John O'Connel as president, John J. Grogan, the aforementioned police chief, as manager, and Police Judge Ed S. Walker, Eugene Allen, Joseph Murray, Mrs. M. Chriswell, John Wendell, Andrew Wendell and others as shareholders. In 1898, the company was developing a tunnel on the Newport claim (Western Mining World 1898).

A few other mining operations were attempted in the area, such as the Butte and Elk Park Extension. This was initially developed in the second decade of the Twentieth century with some production in silver, lead and copper reported in 1919 and 1926 (Mining and Scientific Press 1920; Roby et al 1960; WPA 1941).

The district is between Elk Park and Bernice and include the side drainages of Bison Creek. The area is within the Boulder batholith and within the district the quartz monzonite of the batholith has been intruded by aplite and pegmatite (Roby et al. 1960).


Neither Sahinen (1935) nor Lyden (1948) discusses the Nez Perce district or the Beaver Gulch district in their overviews of Montana mining districts. Roby et al (1960) discusses the Beaver Gulch district along with the Lowland, Nez Perce and Elk Park districts, which have seen little development or even prospecting. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by AMRB 1994.



The Beavertown group of five claims was located at Beavertown. The Newport claim within the group was developed by the Beavertown Mining Association in 1897 and 1898. When reported the claim was developed via a 90 foot tunnel which tapped the lead at 40 feet. The mine worked a true fissure vein containing galena in quartz with gold, silver and copper values (

Western Mining World

1898; Roby et al. 1960).

Wolle (1963) tried to locate Beavertown in 1963, but was stymied in her effort by lack of locational information.

Butte-Elk Park Extension

This property, located in section 17-20 in T5N R6W is composed of 19 patented claims. The property was worked through two shafts (250 and 600 ft deep) with 500 ft of drifts. After initial development, the mine was forced to close because of a coal strike. In 1920 the mine was dewatered down to the 400 ft level. Three new veins were prospected: one on the 250 ft level and two on the 400 ft level. The company announced plans to sink the shaft to the 1,400 ft level, but this apparently was never accomplished. In 1919 and 1926 the mine recorded 57 tons of ore production which yielded 595 ounces of silver, 1,392 pounds of copper and 1,077 pounds of lead. The last known owner (1940) was Ardsley Butte Mines Corporation of Butte (

Mining and Scientific Press

1920; Roby et al 1960; WPA 1941).


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

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Mining and Scientific Press

1920 "Elk Park District", Vol. 120, p. 280, February 21, 1920.

Roby, R. N., W. C. Ackerman, F. B. Fulkerson and F. A. Crowley


Mines and Mineral Deposits (Except Fuels), Jefferson County

, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 16, Montana School of Mines, Butte, Montana.

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.

Western Mining World

1898 "Montana" Vol. 8, No. 172. p. 7.

Wolle, Muriel Sibell


Montana Pay Dirt.

Sage Books, Athens, Ohio

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.