aka Cardwell

The Whitehall or Cardwell district, located on the south slopes of the Bull Mountains just northeast of Whitehall, was not an early producer. In 1890 the Mayflower mine was discovered across the Jefferson River in Madison County; this spurred the development of the Whitehall district. The first mine to be claimed on the Jefferson County side of the Jefferson River was the Golden Sunlight in April of 1890. Its discoverer, Anthony H. Hedly, who located the leached outcrop of the Sunlight vein, had located several other claims there including the Sunlight, Golden, and Last Chance. At about the same time the Buffalo and Telluride claims were also located. Leading producers in the district include the Golden Sunlight – Ohio group, Burlington and Columbia mines (Earhart 1939; Roby et al. 1960).

The area is underlain by shales, sandstones, and sandy limestones of the Belt series. These rocks are overlain by pink quartzite and by Paleozoic limestone. The sedimentary rocks are intruded by dikes which appear to be associated with the ore deposits. Lodes (or veins) of ore occur in shales, calcareous shales, slates, sandstones and limestone. Most of the ore is quartzose material carrying gold-bearing pyrite. Galena, sphlerite, copper minerals and manganese minerals have been noted in some mines. Some porphyry dikes have also been mineralized (Sahinen 1935; Roby et al 1960).

The district has no placer activity and most of the district’s production has been dominated by the Golden Sunlight properties which continue to produce after over a century of intermittent activity. The mines of the Whitehall district are concentrated in St. Paul Gulch three miles to the northeast of Whitehall. These mines are dominated by the Hudson, Columbia and Gold King (Winchell 1914).

Other mines in the district include the Chili, Good Friday, McVey, and Whippoorwhill (All part of the Sand Creek group) (Fredlund 1984).


Sahinen (1935) describes the Whitehall or Cardwell district as being six miles northeast of Whitehall, on or near St. Paul Gulch in the southern end of the Bull Mountains.

Roby et al (1960) describes the district as occupying the south end of Bull Mountain in the central part of Jefferson County north of the Jefferson River. The mines are centered about St. Paul Gulch approximately three to four miles northeast of the town of Whitehall in T2N, R3 & 4W.

Figure 1 shows the district as described by Sahinen (1935) and Roby et al. (1960). The larger AMRB (1994) boundary is for DSL abandoned mine inventory purposes.



The Carbonae is located in section 13 & 24 T2N, R4W four miles north of Whitehall. In 1906, A.R. McDonald developed several tunnels 50 to 250 feet in length. The adits tapped the vein and revealed some small ore chutes. The mine reported production in 1911, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1940. The mine was developed by the Anaconda Company, but was also operated by lessees. It was last operated in 1957 by Lester Lindquist of Whitehall. Development included a 325 foot shaft with 1,000 feet of workings on three levels. The shaft was served by a gasoline hoist and compressor. The mine worked a fissure-filled vein in Greyson shale which was exposed for about 400 feet laterally. Ores extracted from the quartz vein included galena, sphalerite and pyrite along with manganese oxide and chalcopyrite. The mine was in production for 26 years between 1909 and 1957. Total production was reported at 6,098 tons which yielded 325 ounces of gold, 16,215 ounces of silver, 8,622 pounds of copper, 1,649,315 pounds of lead and 147, 387 pounds of zinc (Walsh 1906; Roby et al 1960; WPA 1941).


The Columbia mine is located in St. Paul Gulch upstream from the Hudson mine. It was in production in 1911, 1912 and 1913. The mine worked a vein of quartzose with some pyrite and gold in a country rock of shale. The mine was worked from a crosscut tunnel that ran 300 foot to the vein. In the three years of recorded production, the mine is credited with 190 tons of ore, 450 ounces of gold, 618 ounces of silver, and 172 pounds of copper (Roby et al 1960).


The Hudson mine is near the mouth of St. Paul Gulch. The mine, in black shales, works a breccia of shale and limestone produces by faulting which contains galena and pyrite. The mine is near the Burlington mine which works pyrite and galena in limestone (Winchell 1914).

Golden Sunlight-Ohio group

The Golden Sunlight property is located in sections 19, 20 and 30 T2N, R3W about four miles east of Whitehall. The mine was located in 1890 by Anthony H. Hedley. In 1890 the mine was bonded by the American Development Company which spent $200,000 in bullion. But the mill proved ill-suited to work the ore and was abandoned in 1905.

In July of 1896 W.A. Clark of Butte and his associates brought suit against the American Development and Mining Company for $165,000. W.A. Clark alleged that they had bonded the property for $500,000 of which $165,000 was paid. The outcome of this litigation is not known, but it appears that an out-of-court settlement was made (Herbort 1985).

In 1904 the property was sold to Mr. Eugene Ring of Butte, who in a partnership with investors from Chicago and New York formed a company to operate the series of claims. In 1906 the mine was placed under a bond to the Holdman filter and Tank Co. of Salt Lake. Ten men were employed extracting second-class ore and working them in a new 40 ton cyanide plant. Ore production records indicate that ore was carrying $14.00/ton in gold and the tailings were carrying $7/ton in gold. The mill, like its predecessor, was unsuccessful and was abandoned in 1910. H.C. Bacorn and Associates took over the mine in 1910 and located several more claims. Bacorn concentrated his efforts on two adits on the Mineral Hill and three long adits on the sunlight claim. However, little ore was produced from the development work. When described in 1914 the surface development included ore bins, power plant, stamp mill and other structures. A 1,200 foot tunnel was run on the Sunlight No. 3 which duct a basaltic dike close to the portal. A tunnel on the Ohio claim cuts through shales to reach a porphyry dike (Shoemaker 1894; Walsh 1906; Winchell 1914; Roby et al 1960; Wolle 1963; Herbort 1985; Ageton 35 et al ND).

From the 1920s to the 1930s the mine was worked by Dan Zink, Lot Borden and Mike Mufly of Whitehall and Tidball of Butte. In 1930 the mine was worked by lease by H.W. Carver. From 1920 to 1936 the fragmented mine ownership was slowly consolidated by Alex McKay and John B. Wellcome of Whitehall. In 1935 the Anaconda Copper Mining Company acquired an option on the property and conducted sample drilling, but did not exercise the option. In 1936 A.O.Smith Corp. of Milwaukee bought all 23 claims and then located an additional three claims. The company extensively tested, explored and developed the mine. Some small production was achieved in 1938 when ore was sent directly to the smelter. From 1939 to 1946 lessees continued to make small shipments to the smelters. White Development operated the mine until 1957 (Winchell 1914; Roby et al 1960; Wolle 1963; Ageton et al ND; Herbort 1985).

The mine is a gold and silver property that is working both oxidized and sulphide ores. From 19890 to 1910 the mine was reported to have produced 75,000 tons of ore worth $1.5 million. The output between 1910 to 1917 was listed at 5,000 tons worth $200,000 in gold and silver. From 1917 to 1935 the mine produced 10,000 tons of ore worth $226,000. In the 26 years of production between 1902 and 1956 the mine produced 154,308 tons of ore. This yielded 57,117 ounces of gold, 78,089 ounces of silver, and 55,503 pounds of copper (WPA 1941; Roby et al 1960; Wolle 1963).

Gold King

The Gold King is credited with production in 1909 and 1911. The mine worked a vein of quartzose with auriferous pyrite values in calcareous shale; it is closely associated with a dike of porphyritic rock. In the two years of production the mine is credited with 83 tones of ore, 210 ounces of gold, 182 ounces of silver, and 8 pouinds of copper (Winchell 1914; Roby et al 1960).


The Jefferson mine consisted of three patented claims six miles northeast of Whitehall. The mine was developed with a 300 foot shaft and two 2,500 foot adits. The underground workings were supported by a gasoline hoist, compressors, engine and tool rooms, cook and bunk houses. When it was described in 1935, the mine was idle (Gilbert 1935).

Lucky Hit

The Lucky Hit mine is located in the NW corner of section 19, T2N, R3W. Although the mine was discussed in the mining literature as early as 1903 and again in 1929, the first reported production for the mine occurred in 1934. The one patented claim was developed by a 175 foot deep incline shaft, three drifts and numerous dog holes and stopes. The mine worked a 6 foot vein in Greyson shale and andesite for 300 feet laterally and 150 feet vertically. The mine produced galena, sphalerite, and pyrite in quartz and calcite gangue. The mine is credited with 6,147 tons of ore with continuous production between 1932 and 1953. The ore yielded 2,995 ounces of gold, 13,850 ounces of silver, 22,529 pounds of copper, 333,699 pounds of lead and 78,195 pounds of zinc (Roby et al 1960).

Gilbert (1935) mentions the Blue Moose and Sunnyside. Other mines mentioned by Roby et al (1960) include: the Chief, Examiner (Three Dots and a Dash), Inspiration, Kroholm, Midnight, Parrot (Parrot Chief), South View, Sunny Corner (Sunny), Surprise (Olson’s), and Whitehall.

Other Mines in the District

Other mines listed in WPA (1941) WITH RECORDED PRODUCTION INCLUDE THE Lone Eagle (1931-1940), Midnight (1926-1940), Sunny Corner (1925-1940), Surprise (1911, 1930-1940). The Sunny Corner was first discussed in the mining literature in 1903.


Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau (AMRB)

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

Ageton, Robert W., George T. Krempasky, and William L. Rice

ND "A Systems Approach to Recovering Gold Resources in Jefferson County, Montana," Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 7305, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Billingsley, Paul, and Grimes, J.A.

"Ore Deposits of the Boulder Batholith of Montana", Amer. Inst. Min. Engr. Trans., Vol. 58, pp. 284-361.

Byrne, John and Frank Hunter

1901 Twelfth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.

Calderhead, J.H.

1898 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 6th Annual Report."

Calderhead, J.H. and O.M. Holmes

1900 "Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, 7th Annual Report."

Earhart, Roy H.

1939 "Geology of the Golden Sunlight Mine and Vicinity", Thesis (Bachelor of Science), Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L.P. Benedict

1908 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report.

Fredlund, Lynn

1984 "Johnny Gulch Mine Area Evaluation and Cultural Resource Inventory at the Sappington Mill Site", CGM Services, Butte.

Hall, J.H. and M.L. Rickman

1912 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, Thirteenth Report, for years 1911 and 1912.

Herbort, Dale

1985 "Cultural Resource Investigation and Assessment of the Golden Sunlight Mines/State of Montana Land Exchange", prepared for the Department of State Lands by GCM Services, Butte.

Hill, James M. with introduction by Waldemar Lindgren

1912 "The Mining Districts of the Western United States", U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 507, pp. 181-198, U.S. Government Print. Off., Washington, D.C.

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 or Mines, Butte, Montana.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Shoemaker, C.S. and John Miles

1894 Sixth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana, Intermountain Publishing Company, Butte.

Steere, Peter L.

1979 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation, Homestake Pass Safety Federal Aid Project I-90-5(38)-233", Mineral Research Center, Butte.

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.

Swindlehurst, J.W.

1914 Montana Department of Labor and Industry, 1st Biennial Report.

Trauerian, Carl J.

1939 "Mining in Montana Exclusive of Butte", Seven Talks About Mines, pp. 31-41, Butte Chamber of Commerce.

Walsh, William and William Orem

1906 Biennial Report of Inspector of Mines for 1905-1906. Independent Publishing, Helena.

Winchell, Alexander Newton

1911 "A Theory for the Origin of Graphite as Exemplified in the Graphite Deposit near Dillon, Montana", Economic Geology, Vol. 6, pp 218-230.

1914 "Mining District of the Dillon Quadrangle, Montana and Adjacent Areas", U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 574.