aka East Rampart Mountain
When Sahinen in 1935 described the Elk Park mining district, little significant mining had been done. Although numerous prospects scattered through the area concentrated on vein mineralization, there has been little additional development even since 1935.
The area is a high mountain valley drained by Bison Creek as it flows through the broad high valley of Elk Park just east of the Continental Divide from Butte. The Butte area to the west and the Basin and Helena area mines to the east were very productive, the area in between, which includes Elk Park, were very minimal mining districts. The Elk Park mining district is underlain by the quartz monzonite of the Boulder batholith with the Elk Park valley filled with recent alluvium. To the east the eroded surface of the batholith is covered by flows of dacite. Pegmatites in the district contain tourmaline and display iron-stained vugs which are possibly the result of pyrite oxidation (Roby et al 1960).
What little production that has occurred in the district came from two lode mines: the Montreal Star and the Sunset. The Sunset, although rarely active, was developed by the Sunset-National Mining Company in 1906 when a gold and silver bearing ore body was found. No production was recorded until 1935 and 1936 when 87 tons of ore reduced to 64 ounces of gold, 128 ounces of silver, and 8 pounds of copper. Although production records are available only for 1940 to 1942, the Montreal Star produced gold, silver, copper and lead ore.
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Sahinen (1935) describes the Elk Park district as being in the vicinity of the Elk Park station on the branch line of the Great Northern Railroad about 18 miles northeast of Butte. Because the district has produced little if any ore, there has been no attempts in the mining literature to categorize the area as a mining district. Roby et al (1960) combines the district with discussions of the Lowland, Beaver Gulch and Nez Perce districts because so little mining has occurred in the area. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by the AMRB (1994) for inventory purposes.
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
Montreal Star and Golden Gate
Situated in section 3 T2N R7W on the west side of Lowland Creek, these claims were located in 1906 by Fred, Henry and Louis Gagnier and Victor Jauron. Production records are available only for 1940 to 1942 when the mine produced gold, silver, copper and lead ore. The mine was opened by a 112 foot shaft with 120 feet of drifting. On the surface, the mine has been developed with cabins, a hoist shack and a rotary kiln and blower (Beck 1986).
The Sunset claim (MS#7377) is located in section 3, T2N, R7W. It was developed by the Sunset-National Mining Company in 1906. A 150 ft drift was driven eastward from a shaft to a gold and silver bearing ore body. However, no production was recorded until 1935 & 1936 when 87 tons of ore reduced to 64 ounces of gold, 128 ounces of silver, 8 pounds of copper and 5,983 pounds of lead.
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
1985 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation of Selected Mine Sites in the Butte Mining District, Butte, Montana", prepared for the Montana Department of State Lands by GCM Services.
Beck, Barb Springer
1986 "Cultural Resource Inventory of the Montreal Star Claims #1 and #2 (86-DL-4-1). Deerlodge National Forest, Butte Ranger District.
Fredlund, Lynn and Dale Gray
1994 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of the Tobacco Root Land Exchange (Draft)," for the Deerlodge National Forest by GCM Services, Butte.
GCM Services Inc.
1983 "Cultural Resource Inventory of Proposed East-West Connector Road Between Montana Street and Texas Avenue Butte, Montana", prepared for Thomas, Dean and Hoskins Inc. by GCM Services.
1986a "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Continental Drive Between Howard and Atlantic Streets, Butte", prepared for Sorenson and Company by GCM Services.
1986b "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.
1987a "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of Six Butte Mines: The Venus, Rialto, Benham, Evaline, Goldsmith and Green Mountain", prepared for the Montana Department of State Lands by GCM Services.
1987b "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of Eight Selected Hardrock Mine Sites in Butte, Montana", prepared for the Montana Department of State Land by GCM Services.
1990 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: M 1805 (2) Holmes Avenue - Rowe Road to Harrison Avenue", prepared for Montana Department of Highways by GCM Services.
Gilbert, Frederick C.
1935 "Directory of Montana Mining Properties", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 15. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Keystone Environmental Resources, Inc.
1990 "On-Site Historical and Archaeological Investigation Montana Pole and Treating Site Butte, Montana", prepared for Arco Coal Company by Keystone Environmental Resources, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
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
1960 Mines and Mineral Deposits (Except Fuels), Jefferson County, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 16, Montana School of Mines, Butte, Montana.
1990 "Cultural Resource Assessment of Mining Related Properties Affected by the Butte Priority Soils Removal Action", prepared for the United States Environmental Protection Agency by Ecology and Environment, Inc., Buffalo, New York.
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Steere, Peter L.
1979 "Cultural Resources Inventory and Evaluation Butte - North Federal Aid Project I-IG-15-2(37)131" Cultural Resources Division Mineral Research Center Montana Tech Alumni Foundation.
1980 "Cultural Resources Inventory and Evaluation Hillcrest Project Anaconda Copper Mining Company", Cultural Resources Division Mineral Research Center Montana Tech Alumni Foundation.
1984 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation Project Harrison Avenue - Butte F 29-4(1)84", prepared for the Montana Highway Department by Cultural Resources Division Mineral Research Center Montana Tech Alumni Foundation.
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.
Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey
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.