MARYSVILLE MINING DISTRICT
(Lewis and Clark County)
aka Bald Butte
The historic name of the Marysville mining district is the Ottawa mining district. The only town in the region, Marysville, is about 18 miles northwest of Helena. Silver Creek, which begins at Marysville, runs eastward six miles before dumping into Prickly Pear Creek. The gold-bearing gravels found in Silver Creek for four miles below the town were first discovered in 1862, but the richer bars were not worked until May of 1864. The pay streak was from 30 to 50 feet wide and gold was found on the bedrock 15 to 20 feet from the surface. The gold was valued at only $14 per ounce (as opposed to $17 gold from Last Chance Gulch) due to its high silver content. The stream was worked by hydraulicking, and the side bars in the gulch were said to have paid well. While no production figures are available for the early years and from 1869 to 1880, in 1869 the stream produced $50,000. Later in the 1880s, the district produced from $9,000 to $15,000 in placer gold. Little placering occurred after the 1890s, with only one or two mines in operation each year. Some small production was reported in Trinity Gulch and Uncle Ben Gulch as recently as the 1930s. The stream has been estimated to have produced a total of $3,000,000 (Pardee and Schrader 1933; Goodale 1915; Axline 1991).
At the lower end of the diggings, a lively camp named Silver City sprang up. In 1864, before the big strike in Last Chance Gulch, the town had a population of 108. The town was soon of sufficient importance that the county records were at first held there. Helena, the town's rival, quickly outstripped Silver City and the records were relocated in 1865 by W. F. Sanders.
Thomas Cruse relocated the Drumlummon lode mine in the district in 1876. The property had been located before, but the claim had been allowed to lapse. He named the mine after the parish in Ireland where he was born. He worked shallow prospect holes for six years. The mine's tunnel was only 400 feet long and its vein cut only to a depth of 140 feet. Six to seven thousand tons of ore were recovered from the mine at a cost of $144,539. Cruse uncovered high-grade ore in his workings, and in 1880 erected a 5-stamp mill at the upper end of Silver Creek (Leeson 1885).
The camp around the mill soon flourished. It was named Marysville after Mrs. Mary Ralston, a pioneer of the vicinity.
In February of 1883, Cruse sold the Drumlummon mine and lesser associated claims to an English syndicate for $1,500,000. The English company found abundant ore reserves in the upper workings. Additional stamps were added to the mill and two amalgamating pans and a settler were put into operation. By 1884, a 50-stamp mill was completed and Frue vanners were installed to extract sulphides. Two years later, a 60-stamp mill was built to handle an increased output of ore. By 1894 the vein was worked out. In 1896, tests were run to examine the advisability of working the tailings from the mills by cyanide treatment. A year later, a $66,000 cyanide plant was built with a capacity of 400 tons a day. $1,500,000 was realized from this venture. Later on, another company, the St. Louis Company, worked the tailings a second time and recovered more gold (Wolle 1963).
Another important mine was the Penobscot, which was one of the leading producers of the district. For a time the daily output was several thousand dollars, but values decreased with depth and by 1880 it closed down. It opened again in 1885. Total production is estimated at $1,230,000 (Wolle 1963).
The central geological feature of the district is the monzonite of the Marysville batholith which occupies the basin. It is surrounded on all sides by steep flanks of metamorphosed slate and limestone formations. Pre-batholithic diorite dikes also occur in the sedimentary rock. A mass of granite is exposed in the western part of the district; pegmatite and basic dikes cut the granite (Ropes 1916).
Ore deposits occur along the margins of the batholith both in the sedimentary and in the igneous rocks. Three vein systems are recognized; northeast (North Star), north-south (Drumlummon) and northwest. The ore occurs in fissure veins filled with quartz containing gold and sulfides and sulph-antimonides of silver. Partly replaced wall rock is often included. The upper portions of the veins have been oxidized. Rich ore occurs in shoots separated by barren unworkable material. The Drumlummon vein has been developed 3,000 feet horizontally and to a depth of 1600 feet. No ore was found below the 1,000 foot level. Gold makes up 60% of the valuable constituents. Silver ranks next in importance.
The district produced over $31,000,000, nearly $15,000,000 of which is credited to the Drumlummon mine alone (Sahinen 1935; Wolle 1963).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Dewey J. Sabin (1933) states that the most prominent feature of the district is Mt. Belmont, immediately to the west of the town of Marysville. The mines of the district were so distributed so as to form an irregular circle around this mountain.
Pardee and Schrader (1933) state that the Marysville district comprises an area of 15 or 20 square miles that includes Marysville, Bald Butte and other camps. In some publications the district is divided between the Bald Butte and Marysville districts which are separated by the Continental Divide.
Sahinen (1935) places the district 18 miles northwest of Helena and was at one time served by a branch line of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
The American Flag mine is located in the northeast quarter of section 22, T12N, R6W south of the Empire mine. The mine worked a two-foot wide vein of gold and silver. The vein was said to be parallel with the vein developed by the Empire mine workings. In 1933 the mine was developed by John Kelley (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Bald Butte mine is located in the northwest quarter of section 10, T11N, R6W on the northwest slope of Bald Butte at the head of Dog Creek. The mine was first discovered on the Albion vein. Later, the "Main Branch" was discovered at the site of the Sincox shaft. This ore body was developed by Tunnels 1, 2, 4, and 6 with intermediate levels. The lower zone of profitable ore was between the No. 6 tunnel and the 800 foot level of the Sincox shaft. Other veins in the mine that were worked profitably include the New Branch, Knife Blade, Elixer, Lone Jack and Cross Course (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology n.d., Ropes 1901).
The first reported production from the mine occurred in 1882 when the mine produced $32,000. The property was worked from 1890 to 1901 when the discovery of a new vein was found. The ore was treated in the company's 20-stamp mill that was expanded to 40 stamps around the turn of the century. The next year the mill continued in full production with ore in reserve waiting to be processed. In 1902, when production figures became available, the mine produced 25,565 short tons of ore which was reduced to 14,776.24 ounces of gold; 8,939 ounces of silver; 4,588 pounds of copper; and 81,962 pounds of lead. After 1902, the ore produced from the mine dwindled until 1909 when only 814 tons of ore were extracted. Production resumed in 1912 with 3,230 tons of ore producing $,408.25 in gold and lesser values of silver, copper and lead. Until 1923 the production fluctuated widely from 5 tons in 1916 to 9,900 tons in 1920. After 1915, the greatest production was from reworking old tailings (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Walsh and Orem 1912).
The 18 claim property was reopened in 1931 by Idamon Gold Mining Co and operated soon thereafter by Bald Butte Gold Mines Co. and Stratton and Stratton of Wallace, Idaho. In 1932, the main adit was reopened and a new tunnel was driven from the north side of the mountain. Again most production occurred in years in which old tails were reworked. Total production from 1902 to 1942 has been calculated at 167,595 tons of ore which returned 55,390.90 ounces of gold; 49,020 ounces of silver; 34,814 pounds of copper and 290,509 pounds of lead (Knopf 1913; Sabin 1933; Gilbert 1935; McClernan 1983).
The Bell Boy mine is located in the northwest quarter of section 4, T11N, R6W in Towsley Gulch. It is the most westerly of the district's mines at 3.5 miles west of Marysville. The mine was discovered around 1880 and was said to have produced $500,000 in its first three years. The mine was developed by a 1,000 foot crosscut adit known as the Gleason Tunnel and a small open pit. The tunnel strikes the Nile vein about 125 feet from the portal. Since 1888 the mine has been worked several times, but was closed after 1917.
A 100-ton flotation plant was erected on the property in 1933 by the Bell Boy Gold Mining Company. In 1934, 22 men were reported to be working in the mine. The mine developed two veins in the contact metamorphic zone surrounding the Marysville stock. The Bell Boy vein has been explored for a distance of 800 feet horizontal and 300 feet vertical. Two ore bodies were found: one on the Bell Boy vein and one at the junction of the Bell Boy and the Nile veins. Production from the mine was intermittent and smelter returns for the mine were combined with those of the Nile and at the Towsley mines. From 1909 to 1948 the combined returns reported 6,067 tons of ore which was reduced to 500.30 ounces of gold; 5,154 ounces of silver; 35,477 pounds of copper; and 607,224 pounds of lead. In 1947 and 1948 and additional 21,192 pounds of zinc were recovered (Sabin 1933; Pardee and Schrader 1933; Gilbert 1935; McClernan 1983).
The Belmont is located in the southwest quarter of section 35, T12N, R6W on the east slope of Mt. Belmont. The Belmont was part of the Cruse-Belmont-Bald Mountain group. It was described as one of the largest producers in the district. The mine was developed by two tunnels with 2,000 feet of workings to a depth of 700 feet. On the lower tunnel a winze connects to a 400 foot drift (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
The mine and 20-stamp mill was sold to the Penobscott & Snowdrift Consolidated Mining Company around 1878. The mill featured shaking copper plates in addition to stationary plates. These were attached to the four Frue vanners. These vanners were invented by William Frue, who controlled the Penobscott company. From December of 1878 to April of 1880, the mine produced $104,238 in bullion. The ore yielded from $8 to $20 per ton while expenses were about $6.50. The company enlarged the capacity of the mill to 30-stamps in 1881. That same year a fire and explosion resulted in the loss of six miner's lives. The mill continued to operate until 1885 (Gilbert 1935; Mohler 1985; Greiser 1989).
The mine was idle from 1901 and then worked intermittently thereafter. The mine was worked by the Thomas Cruse Company from an extension of the Bald Mountain mine around 1910, but the connection was made underground and the ore included in the Bald Mountain production totals. In 1916, the Longmaid family, which owned the mine, put the mine back in production for a short time; this may have been in association with the Thomas Cruse Co. In 1933 the mine was operated by the Belmont Mines, Inc. While the bulk of production occurred prior to 1901, smelter returns are available from 1909 to 1948. From 1909 to 1915 the property was in production ranging from a high of 25,311 tons in 1910 to 8,700 tons in 1915. Thereafter, production was intermittent and rarely over 1,000 tons (Knopf 1913; McClernan 1983; Greiser 1989).
The workings consisted of three adits with extensive dumps. The mill was destroyed in a training exercise of Ft. Harrison demolitions specialists in 1944 (Mohler 1985).
The Big Ox mine is located in the southeast quarter of section 13, T12N, R6W about three miles north of Marysville and out of the circle of mines that surround Mt. Belmont. The property is composed of a large number of claims including the Big Ox and the Little Ox. The mine was initially, developed by a shaft, an adit and shallow surface pits. Although the mine was in production prior to the turn of the century. In 1906 the mine was in development with a 300 feet of a projected 600 foot crosscut adit completed. However, the mine reported no production until 1913 when old tails were reworked. The mine reported small amounts of intermittent production from 1925 to 1947 with most of the actual returns from reworking old tails. By 1947, the total reported production since 1913 was 2,639 tons of ore with smelter returns of 603.48 ounces of gold; 12,794 ounces of silver; 6,577 pounds of copper; 166,982 pounds of lead; and 24,446 pounds of zinc (Walsh and Orem 1906; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Calumet mine is in the southeast quarter of section 25, T12N, R6W is on the lower slopes of Edwards Mountain about half a mile northeast of Marysville. The mine was developed by a 1,000 foot crosscut tunnel which cuts eight veins. Ore from the mine was reported ore assayed between 0.1 to 1.0 ounce gold per ton. A small shipment of ore was made in 1914 which yielded $18 per ton gold (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Cruse mine located in southwest section 35, T12N, R6W. The mine was worked as part of the Cruse-Belmont-Bald Mountain group. The mine was named after Thomas Cruse, the developer of the Drumlummon and an important figure in Montana mining. In 1897 the mine employed 7 miners and 11 topmen. At the time a tunnel 950 feet long tapped a 500 foot deep shaft. Ore from the mine was treated in a 20-stamp mill equipped with pans and settlers on the property. In 1899, the main tunnel was extended 150 feet and and a 110-foot , 2-compartment shaft was sunk from the tunnel level. Hoisting was conducted with a 35 h.p. hoist connected by a 1 inch steel rope to a safety cage. In 1900 the mine employed 75 men extracting ore and working in the mill (Byrne and Hunter 1898; 1899; 1901; McClernan 1983).
The Drumlummon mine is located in the southwest quarter of section 36, T12N, R6W. The mine was the largest mine in the district. However, most of the production occurred prior to detailed records. Prior to 1910, the mine was developed through 123,500 feet of underground and was estimated to have produced 1,150,000 tons of ore. The ore returned 586,898 ounces of gold and 4,982,942 ounces of silver. The Drummlummon vein was developed along the strike for 3,000 and has been stoped as wide as 40 feet. Other veins extensively worked include the North Star, Castletown, New Castletown, Sampson, Jubilee and Jubilee No. 2. The latter two veins were discovered at depth and did not outcrop (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Goodale 1915).
Thomas Cruse located the Drumlummon claim in 1876. The property had been located before, but the claim had been allowed to lapse. He named the mine after the parish in Ireland where he was born. Cruse uncovered high-grade ore in his workings and in 1880 (some sources say 1878) erected a 5-stamp mill at the upper end of Silver Creek. He worked shallow prospect holes for six years. By 1882 Cruse had single-handedly extended the adit 200 feet and cut the vein at a depth of 140 feet. The mine produced 6,000-7,000 tons of ore which was worked in part in arrastras and a little over half in the new mill with a return of $144,539 in bullion. In 1882, Cruse added a second battery of 5-stamps to the mill (Leeson 1885; Goodale 1915).
In February of 1883, Cruse sold the Drumlummon mine and lesser associated claims to an English syndicate for $1,000,000 in cash and $500,000 in shares. The English company found abundant ore reserves in the upper workings. Additional stamps were added to the mill and two amalgamating pans and a settler were put into operation. By 1884, a 50-stamp mill from the P. I. works in San Francisco was completed and Frue vanners were installed to extract sulphides. Two years later, a 60-stamp mill was built at a cost of $128,340 to handle an increased output of low-grade ore. Each battery of 5-stamps was equipped with two Frue vanners, but no pans or settlers. In 1885, the mill produced between $80,000 each month with company profits at $40,000 to $50,000 each month (Leeson 1885; Goodale 1915).
A new shaft was begun 260 feet below the Cruse tunnel and 400 feet below the discovery pit. The 1,260 foot adit was named the "Maskelyne" after the chairman of the board of directors. In 1886, a 3-compartment incline shaft was begun which reached a depth of 800 feet in 1888. Levels on the vein were opened at 500, 600, 700 and 800 feet. A second 3-compartment incline shaft was begun in 1887; the No. 2 shaft was begun 700 feet south of the No. 1 and downslope 400 feet. Both shafts used double decker cages (Goodale 1915).
The best year for the mine was 1887 when it was working ore valued at $27.21 per ton. Dividends of $920,000 were distributed. Unfortunately, ore value decreased with depth. Studies suggested that the problem was only a local one, so sinking on the shaft resumed. In 1891 the shaft reached a depth of 1,600 feet and 165 men were employed in the mine. Connections were made between the two shafts by a crosscut at the 1,200 foot level and by drifts at the 600 and 1000 foot levels. When the "9-hour" ore shoot was discovered a few hundred feet south on the 400 foot level, a third shaft was sunk. Ultimately, the 1,600 foot level of the mine was developed by nearly a mile of exploration drifts and crosscuts (Swallow 1891; Goodale 1915).
In 1890, to combat increased flow of water, a Cornish pump was purchased for $55,000. But as new ground was opened, the flow diminished and so pump installation was never completed. In 1895, a 400 gallon per minute Riedler pump was installed at the 1,600 foot station. Exploration so increased the flow of water that a second, 500 gallon per minute, pump had to be installed. While the second pump was being installed, a concrete dam was erected in a crosscut to diminish the flow. By the time the pump was operational, water pressure indicated that a head of 600 feet had developed beyond the dam (Goodale 1915).
A fire started at the 1,200 foot station on May 8, 1892. Because of the strong draft between the shafts, the blaze quickly raced up through the 10 x 10 inch timbers used in the shaft. Before water could be poured down the shaft and put out the fire, it had spread to the 400 foot level, destroying 800 feet of timber. Smoke made it difficult to approach the collar of the shaft. Hoses connected to pumps in the boiler room flooded the mine with 5 million gallons of water. By the time the fire was out, water had risen in the mine to the 700 foot level. Damage was extensive; a reorganization of the company delayed until 1894 some repairs to the 1,600 foot level which had been damaged by burning timbers falling down the shaft. Because the mine was in hard slate, little caving occurred from the fire (Goodale 1915).
The reorganization of the company resulted from the effects of the fire, a bad cave in the "9 hour" stope and expensive litigation. The new name of the company as of December 1892 was the Montana Mining Co., Ltd. The litigation continued for another 18 years. The property was finally sold to satisfy a judgment of $240,000 against the company. The company was bought in 1911 by the successful litigant, the St. Louis Mining and Milling Company.
The Castletown lode was originally developed by a small shaft and drift by a Mr. Attwood. The lode was later extensively developed by extensions of the Drumlummon mine levels. New Castletown lode was discovered in 1893 when the Castletown 2A workings were extended by a short crosscut. The new ore body was quickly developed to the 1,000 foot level and yielded a large tonnage of good ore (Goodale 1915).
In 1896, tests were run to examine the advisability of working the tailings from the mills by cyanide treatment. A year later, a $66,000 cyanide plant was built with a capacity of 400 tons a day. A railway with a Porter locomotive and cars hauled the tailings from a series of five dams on Silver Creek to the plant. Later on, another company, the St. Louis Company worked the tailings a second time and recovered more gold. By 1907, all of the tailings along four miles of the stream had been reworked. It was reported that $1,500,000 was realized from this venture (Goodale 1915; Wolle 1963).
Because of the on-going litigation, the mine produced only intermittently from 1892 to 1910. However, when the mine was in operation, it employed an army of men to produce large amounts of ore. In 1895 the mine employed 139 miners and 67 topmen. However, as production levels declined, the lower levels were allowed to flood and were not pumped out again until 1924 when a new power plant was built and the mine dewatered (Shoemaker and Miles 1896; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
From 1901 to 1948, the mine showed production every year. Total ore production was 480,576 short tons with a smelter returned of 115,694.49 ounces of gold; 852,666 ounces of silver; 23,341 pounds of copper; and after 1946, 29,848 pounds of lead. A large share of the production in 17 of the years came from reworking old tailings (Goodale 1915; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Earthquake mine is located in the northeast quarter of section 5, T11N, R6W on the ridge south of Towsley Gulch, a quarter-mile west of the Nile mine. The mine was developed by a 200 foot long adit and several shallow open cuts on the vein and a 30 foot shaft. The mine worked a fracture filling in the metamorphosed Empire Formation. The vein was five to six feet wide (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Empire mine is located in the northeast quarter of section 33, T12N, R6W on the west side of Belmont mountain, five miles from Marysville and 1.5 miles from Gloster. The property adjoins the M & L property and has been worked in conjunction with it. The mine consists of an adit driven on a vein, stopes, raises and winzes. The ore from the mine averaged around $30 per ton in gold, silver, copper and lead (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; McClernan 1983).
In 1886 the Empire mine was purchased from Hickey and Cotter by the Empire Mining Co. of London, England. Many of the investors also held stock in the Drumlummon. The company also purchased the adjacent Whipperwill mine of Nate Vestal. At the time the mine was little more than a prospect with several open cuts and shafts, the deepest of which was only down 70 feet. However, this shaft showed good values in quartz. The Whipperwill mine at the time had a shaft of 350 feet and had produced a large amount of valuable ore. The ore was processed in a small 10-stamp mill in Combes Gulch. At the time of the purchase, the claim and mill had been idle for 10 years (Sizer 1915).
In 1886, the new company repaired the mill and began mining ore valued at $20 per ton. The ore was free-milling and returned a high percentage of its content. The Empire mine was initially developed by an adit on the west end of the claim. The tunnel ran through slate that was so hard that a crew of men contracted to drive the tunnel at $20 per foot gave up on the contract after only 40 feet. Later, the adit was extended to 1,100 feet and cut the Whipperwill vein at a depth of 500 feet, but at the contact the vein was nearly barren. A winze was sunk to 130 feet and levels run east and west. Again no paying ore was found. Ore from the parallel Empire vein ran about the same amount of gold and silver with just enough copper to cause problems with cyanidation (Sizer 1915).
The Empire lode was worked with great success from the surface to a depth of about 300 feet. The main haulage adit ultimately reached a length of 1,500 feet. With an average width of 6 feet, some of the stopes on the lode opened to 16 feet (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933; Sizer 1915).
When the mill was repaired in 1886, amalgamation both inside and outside the mortars was tried. Also a light, high drop 5-stamp mill was installed as an experiment and Frue vanners added. Despite the problems associated with the new adit, the company was able to declare 15 percent dividend and the company authorized a new 60-stamp mill. Work was begun in April of 1887 and 40 stamps were falling by November of the same year. The remaining 20 stamps were operational by the end of January 1888. Because of the failures of the lower levels, the upper levels of the mine had to be rapidly expanded to feed the mill and a tramway was constructed to transport the ore from the collar to the mill. In 1891, the mine was operated by the Golden Leaf Mining Co. which employed 60 men at the mine. Ore was dropped from the upper level stopes to the tunnel at the 500 foot level where it was hauled out to the mill. The mine continued be profitably worked until 1893 when the price of silver plummeted. After 1893 the mine was worked intermittently by lessees and by a number of different owners. From 1887 to 1893 the mine was said to have produced $350,000 in ore (Swallow 1891; Hogan and Oliver 1892; Sizer 1915; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
In 1901 the mine was owned by the Gold Belt Mining company. A cyanide plant was constructed and several hundred thousand tons of old tailings were reprocessed. The process was able to remove 90 percent of the remaining values from the tailings. The company also processed the dumps from the Jay Gould and Gloster mines in the nearby Stemple Gould mining district (Byrne and Hunter 1902).
The 60-stamps in the mill were removed from the property in 1928. Flotation mill equipment was installed in the place of the stamps. This equipment was also removed from the mill building. There is no mention in the literature of the flotation equipment ever being used. By 1933, the property was in the hands of W. M. Manning of Helena, who once again began development work (Sabin 1933).
The first recorded production occurred in 1934, when 24 tons of ore returned 2.57 ounces of gold; 286 ounces of silver; 1,912 pounds of copper and 26,068 pounds of lead. The mine was worked from 1937 to 1943 with a peak of 14,065 tons of ore in 1939. After 1943, the mine was worked intermittently. Total recorded production was 36,087 tons of ore with a return of 5,683.57 ounces of gold; 19,666 ounces of silver; 85,839 pounds of copper; 1,248,168 pounds of lead; and from the late 1940s 36,462 pounds of zinc (Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The M & L mine is located in northwest section 34, T12N, R6W; the property is an eastern extension of the Empire mine. The mine was located by Mike Lynch from whom the initials are derived. The mine was developed by a 250 foot shaft with a 150 foot drive on the 90 foot level and a 400 foot drift on the 250 foot level. In 1933, the mine was systematically explored and lots of 25 to 50 tons were run through a 5-stamp mill. The underground workings of the mine connect with the Empire mine. After 1933, much of the ore from the M & L was included in returns from the Empire (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schader 1933; McClernan 1983).
Mammoth and Strawberry
The Mammoth mine is located in the northwest quarter of section 4, T11N, R6W. The mine was developed by several open cuts, inclines and adits. The mine worked a continuation of the vein developed in the Nile mine. Production figures for the Mammoth are included in those of the Strawberry mine. The mines were active from 1906 to 1913 with a reported production of 1,537 tons of ore returning 1,960.14 ounces of gold; 519 ounces of silver; 193 pounds of copper; 161 pounds of lead (Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
The Strawberry mine is three miles southeast of the town of Bald Butte and near the head of the gulch on the east side of Greenhorn Mountain. The mine was first worked in 1902 and a 10-stamp mill erected on the property. Development included a incline shaft on the vein with a drift on the 120 foot level; a crosscut tunnel was also developed on the mill level. Ore worked in the mill returned from $30 to $75 a ton in gold (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
The Nile mine is located in the northwest quarter of section 4, T11N, R6W on the south side of Towsley Gulch. The property is located between the Bell Boy and the Mammoth mines and works a common geological structure. The mine was developed by two shafts and associated drifts, shallow surface cuts and a crosscut adit that apparently never connected to the vein. The production for the Nile is included in that of the Towsley and the Bell Boy mines. In 1933 the mine was operated by Wallace Birkhead and others (Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
Development includes a 90 foot shaft with 300 feet of drifts, a 35 foot shaft and an adit 825 feet long which in 1935 had not yet reached an ore body (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology).
The Penobscot mine is located in the southeast quarter of section 4, T11N, R6W at the head of Penobscot Gulch, about one mile northwest of the Bald Butte mine. This property was one of the earliest developed mines in the the Marysville area; it was located in 1872 by Nate Vestal. At first the ore from the mine was worked in two small arrastras and a small 5-stamp mill on Silver Creek about 1.5 miles below the mine. Later, the arrastra was expanded to four grinding tubs, three amalgamation tubs and one settler. It was reported that under this arrangement, the mine produced $80,000 (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; McDermott 1915; McClernan 1983).
In 1878, a 14-foot vein of ore was found and Vestal sold the mine to the Penobscot & Snowdrift Consolidated Mining Company for $400,000. The company was controlled by William Frue, the inventor of the Frue vanner, along with friends of his from New York. The Company also owned the Belmont mine for a time. In the first five months of 1878 the new deposit yielded $80,798 from 685 tons of ore. This ore was treated in an arrastra and yielded 1 ounce of gold and 2.05 ounces of silver per ton. Some select samples assayed as high as $1,000 per ton (McDermott 1915).
Despite this good start, the ore values did not persist at depth. The Bonanza shaft was sunk to 330 feet, but little valuable ore was obtained below 160 feet. Ore was extracted at a rate of 1,100 tons per month. From the period of late 1878 to early 1880, 14,307 tons of ore were extracted and milled for a return of $251,661 in bullion. However, expenses for the period were $268,513 resulting in a loss of $15,852. The mine closed soon thereafter and remained idle for several years (McDermott 1915).
A $40,000 mill had been erected below the mine and a series of tram lines brought the ore from the mine to the mill. The ore was first trammed 200 feet to a Blake crusher that was attached to the same engine that powered the mine's pump. The ore was then sent down 3,300 feet of tramway to the orehouse. The ore was then run through a 40-stamp Fraser & Chalmers mill. The pulp was run over plates to four Frue vanners and then to blanketed sluice boxes. About 75 tons of concentrates were accumulated by 1880, but no smelter was near enough to work them profitably (McDermott 1915).
The mine was developed with a shaft reportedly 500 feet deep with numerous workings on the vein and by an adit on the vein. The vein has been worked horizontally for a combined 1,000 feet. A second 70-foot incline shaft was sunk on the Eagle vein. This ore shoot gave out at a depth of 50 feet, but produced $10,000 in ore (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
Intermittent production was recorded from 1901 to 1945. In 1901, the mine produced two-fifths of the recorded 20th Century production with 22,960 tons of ore returning 12,061.87 ounces of gold and 26,237 ounces of silver. This level of production was equalled in the combined years of 1904 and 1905, but smelter returns were far less at 8,183.75 ounces of gold and 27,375 ounces of silver. Production dropped to 3 tons in 1906. Production peaked again in 1916 with 3,000 tons of ore returning 232 ounces of gold and 352 ounces of silver. Total production for the district was 52,570 tons of ore returning 22,560.14 ounces of gold; 57,165 ounces of silver; 2,072 pounds of copper; 18,677 pounds of lead and 542 pounds of zinc (Knopf 1913; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
Piegan-Gloster and Shannon
The Piegan-Gloster mine is located in section 27, T12N, R6W on the northern side of Mt. Belmont about three miles west of Marysville. The mine was worked in connection with the Shannon group. Originally, the Piegan-Gloster mines were developed separately. In 1881 the Gloster mine was owned by the Boston and Montana Company and in that year produced $67,180 in gold. The mine was developed by a 200 foot shaft. Gold assaying at $15.00 per ton in gold was pulled from a 10 foot wide vein and worked in a 10-stamp mill at the mine. In 1882 the mill was expanded to 20-stamps and a new 60-stamp mill was erected. In 1882 the operation produced $290,572. The shaft was extended in 1883 to 400 feet, but the ore began to show increasing amounts of silver which necessitated changes in the milling. In 1884, 51,842 tons of ore were mined from four levels and processed in the 60 stamp mill. While the ore averaged $18 per ton, only half of the values were recovered. From 1881 to 1887 the Gloster mine reported $2,523,007 in production (Pardee and Schrader 1933).
From 1888 to 1900, both the Piegan and the Gloster were nearly closed due to litigation. The Piegan prior to this point had produced $75,000 in ore. In 1906, the two mines were combined into one enterprise. The operation was developed by two adits on the Piegan claim. Shortly thereafter the mine closed again. It was purchased by the Barnes King Gold Mining Co. in 1911. At the time, the property included 34 claims on 391 acres. When it was examined by Knopf (1913), the lower tunnel was 1,200 feet long. Tailings were reworked in 1906 and some production was reported in 1909. Serious production began in 1915 with the construction of a 150 ton cyanide plant. The mill was able to recover 85% of the ore values.
In 1915 the Barnes King Company also took over operations of the nearby Shannon mine. A 2.5 mile aerial tramway was constructed to connect. the mine with the mill. The Gloster mill was changed in 1916 to an all slime plant to treat the Shannon ore. With this treatment 95 percent of the gold and 68 percent of the silver was recovered. At the peak of this period in 1917, 52,885 tons of ore were processed, which returned 31,282.10 ounces of gold and 71,847 ounces of silver. In 1920, the Piegan - Gloster properties ran out of ore despite considerable prospecting. The combined property reported $726,181 in total production from 91,385 tons of ore (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Sabin 1933; Pardee and Schrader 1933).
The Shannon properties continued heavy production to 1924. This mine was developed by a 650 foot shaft with more than 19,596 feet of levels and raises. In 1923, development proved disappointing. Tools were hoisted and the final production consisted of stoping of the shaft pillars until all the ore was removed. The mine closed December 5, 1923 (Knopf 1913; Pardee and Schrader 1933; McClernan 1983).
Shakopee and Towsley
Located in the northwest quarter of section 4, T11N, R6 W, the mine was apparently worked with the Towsley mine and was located to the east of the Earthquake mine. The Shakopee was developed by a 50 foot incline shaft with a drift on the bottom. The ore shoot worked on the mine varied in thickness from one to six feet. No production figures are available (McClernan 1983).
The Towsley mine is located in the northwest quarter of section 4, T11N, R6W, east of the Earthquake mine. The mine was developed by two shafts on the same vein as the Earthquake and the Shakopee. No production figures are available (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; McClernan 1983).
The two claims were developed at a depth of 140 feet by the Niles crosscut (Pardee and Schrader 1933).
1991 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Silver City - West [RS 279-1(3)9]", prepared for the Montana Department of Transportation, Helena.
Barker, Sam, Jr.
1939 "History of Mining in Montana", Seven Talks About Mines, pp. 1-9, Butte Chamber of Commerce.
1907 "Geology of the Marysville Mining District, Montana; A study of Igneous Intrusion, and Contact Metamorphism", U. S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 57.
Beadle, H. M.
1893 "The Persistence of Ores in Lodes in Depth - The Empire Lode (Marysville, Montana", Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 55, pp. 154-155.
Behre, Charles H., Jr., see also Loughlin, 1000
1937 "Bedding-Plane Faults and Their Economic Importance", Am. Inst. Min. Met. Eng. Trans., Vol. 126, pp. 512-529.
Billingsley, Paul and J. A. Grimes
1917 "Ore Deposits of the Boulder Batholith of Montana", American Institute of Mining and Engineering Bulletin #124. pp. 641-717.
Billingsley, Paul and Augustus Locke
1933 "Tectonic Position of Ore Districts in the Rocky Mountain Region" American Institute of Mining and Metallic Engineering, Yearbook, Sec. 2, p. 64.
Bowman, A. H. and Barclay Craighead
1928 Montana, Resources and Opportunities Edition, Vol. 3. Department of Agricultural, Labor and Industry, Division of Publicity.
Brazier, C. R., editor
1935 Mining Review of Greater Helena Region.
Byrne, John and Frank Hunter
1898 Ninth Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. State Publishing Company, Helena.
1899 Tenth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana for the Year ending November 30th, 1898.
Independent Publishing Company, Helena.
1901 Twelfth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana.
Independent Publishing Company, Helena.
Byrne, John and John J. Barry
1902 Fourteenth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana. Independent Publishing Company, Helena.
Calderhead, J. H. and Benedict, L. P.
1898 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 5th Ann. Report
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."
Clayton, Joshua E.
1888 "The Drumlummon Group of Veins and Their Mode of Formation (Helena, MT)", Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 46, pp. 85-86, 106-108.
1933 "Some Gold Deposits in Broadwater, Beaverhead, Phillips, and Fergus Counties, Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Memoir 10.
Ephraimson, Leo E.
1936 "Geology of Some Gold Deposits of Montana", Theses (Bachelor of Science), Montana School of Mines.
Emmons, Samuel Franklin
1885 "Geological Sketch of the Rocky Mountain Division", U. S. 10th Census, Vol. 13, pp. 60-104.
Emmons, William Harvey
1913 "The Enrichment of Sulphide Ores", U.S. Geological Survey, Bull. 529, pp. 3-260; (abst.) Washington Acad. Sci. Jour., Vol. 3, pp. 454-455.
Emmons, William Harvey
1917 "The Enrichment of Ore Deposits", U. S. Geologic Survey, Bulletin 625.
Fairchild, Gary S.
"Cultural Resource Inventory: Hope / Snowshoe Timber Sale", Helena National Forest, Communication to the Helena District Office, December 17, 1990.
Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict
1906 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 10th Report.
1908 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report.
GCM Services, Inc.
1990 "Preservation Planning Overview for Phase 25 of Projects 25, 26, 27 and 28 Selected Mining Districts, Parts I and II", prepared for the Montana Department of State Lands, Helena.
1994 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Marysville Borrow Source Area, Lewis and Clark County, Montana", prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, Butte Office.
Gidel, Murl A.
1939 "History of Geology and Ore Deposits", Seven Talks About Mines, pp. 10-19.
Gilbert, Frederick C.
1935 "Gold Production in Montana", Gluck Auf (Montana School of Mines), Vol. 1. No. 1, pp. 6-7, 15.
Goodale, Charles W.
1914 "The Apex Law in the Drumlummon Controversy", Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Bull. 90, pp. 745-758; Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans, Vol. 48, pp. 328-349; (abst.) Min. and Sci. Press, Vol. 108, pp. 368-373.
1915 "The Drumlummon Mine, Marysville, Montana", Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Bull. 92, pp. 2095-2113, 1914; Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans., Vol. 49, pp. 258-276.
Greiser, T. Weber
1989 "Cultural Resource Inventory of Gulf Titanium's Proposed Road Widening, Lewis and Clark County, Montana", prepared for Chen-Northern, Inc. by Historical Research Associates, Inc., Missoula.
Grimes, John Alden, see also Billingsley, 104
1928 "Some Suggestions Concerning Ore-Genesis", Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 9, pp. 532-536.
Hall, J. H. and M. L. Rickman
1912 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, Thirteenth Report, for years 1911 and 1912.
Henderson, Chales William
1933 "The History and Influence of Mining in the Western United States", Ore Deposits of the Western States (Lungren Volume), pp 730-784. American Institute of Mining and Metallic Engineering.
Hillebrand, William Francis
1890 "Analyses of Three Descloizites from New Localities", Am. Journal of Science, 3d Ser., Vol. 37, pp. 434-439, 1889; Colorado Sci. Soc. Proc., Vol. 3, pp. 193-199.
Hogan, Joseph and Jacob Oliver
1891 Third Annual Report of Inspector of Mines, for the fiscal year 1891, Journal Publishing Company, Helena.
1892 Fourth Annual Report of Inspector of Mines, for the fiscal year 1892, Printers & Binders, Helena.
1913 "Ore Deposits of the Helena Mining Region, Montana", U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 527, Vol. 1, p. 92.
Leeson, M. A.
1885 History of Montana 1739-1885. Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago.
Lincoln, Francis Church
1911 "Certain Natural Associations of Gold", Economic Geology, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 247-302.
1911 " Some Gold Deposits of the Northwest", Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 92, No. 9, pp. 408-410.
1903 "The Geological Features of the Gold Production of North America", American Institute of Mining Engineers Transcripts. Vol. 33, pp. 790-845, 1077-1083.
1933 "Differentiation and Ore Deposition, Cordilleran Region of the United States", Ore Deposits of the Western States (Lindgren Volume), pp. 152-180, American Institute of Mining and Metal Engineering.
Lyden, Charles J.
1948 The Gold Placers of Montana. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 26. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
McClernan, Henry G.
1983 Metallic Mineral Deposits of Lewis and Clark County, Montana. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 52. Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, Butte.
1912 "Deep Mining", Mining Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 203-204.
1915 "The Penobscot and Belmont Mines", Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Bull. 92, pp. 2113-2116, 1914; Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans., Vol. 49, pp. 276-279.
Mohler, Edwin, A.
1985 "An Evaluation and Assessment of Structures at the Belmont Claim Near Marysville, Lewis and Clark County, Montana", prepared for AMAX Exploration, Inc, by ECON Inc., Helena.
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
n.d. Files of Montana mining properties. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology office, Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, Butte.
1987 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Proposed Mine Expansion of the Belmont Mine, Marysville, Montana", for Gulf Titanium, Ltd, report prepared for ECON, Inc by GCM Services, Butte.
Newell, Alan S. and Jim Oppedahl
1992 "Cultural Resource Inventory of Great Divide Skiing Company, Inc's Proposed Expansion, Lewis and Clark County, Montana", prepared for the Great Divide Skiing Company by Historical Research Associates, Missoula.
Pardee, J. T. and F. C. Schrader
1933 "Metalliferous Deposits of the Greater Helena Mining Region, Montana", U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin #842, reprint of article in Mining Truth, Vol. 14, No. 10.
Penfield, Samuel Lewis
1896 "On Pearceite, a Sulpharsenite of Silver, and on the Crystallization of Polybasite", Colorado Sci. Soc. Proc., Vol. 5, pp. 210-224; Am. Journal of Sci., 4th Ser., Vol. 2, pp. 17-29; Zs. Kryst., Vol. 27, pp. 65-77.
Rickard, Thomas Arthur
1896-1897 "Vein Walls", Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans., Vol. 26, pp. 193-241, 1897; Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 63, Nos. 12-13, pp. 282-284, 307-309, 1897; (pt. 1) Colliery Engineer, Vol. 17, No. 12, pp. 527-531, 1897; (pt. 2) Mines and Minerals, Vol. 18, pp. 7-10, 1898; Min. and Sci. Press, Vol. 73, pp. 152, 172, 194, 216-217, 1896; Canadian Min. Rev., Vol. 16, pp. 213-217, 229-235.
Ropes, Leverett S.
1901 "Observations on Marysville District, Montana", Min. and Eng. World, Vol. 44, No. 8, pp. 395-396.
Ropes, Leverett S.
1916 "Activities in the Marysville Mining District, Montana", Min. and Eng. world, Vol. 44, No. 18, pp. 819-821.
Sabin, Dewey J.
1933 "Gold Activities Around Marysville, Montana", Mining Journal, Vol. 17, No. 4, p. 3.
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Schrader, Frank Charles
1929 "Central Montana Summarized", Mining Truth, Vol. 14, No. 15, pp. 7-9.
Shoemaker, C. S.
1894 Fifth Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana, Intermountain Publishing Company, 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.
1896 Seventh Annual Report of the Inspector of Mines of the State of Montana, State Publishing Company, Helena.
Sizer, P. L.
1915 "The Empire Mine", Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Bull. 92, pp. 2116-2120, 1914; Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans., Vol. 49, pp. 279-283.
Smith, Lewis A.
1932 "Chromite", Minerals Yearbook, 1932, U. S. Bureau of Mines. p. 300.
Swallow, G. C. and J. B. Trevarthen
1890 Reports of the Inspector of Mines and Deputy Inspector of Mines for the Six Months Ending November 30th, 1889. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.
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.
Walker, David D.
1963 "Tungsten Resources of Western Montana, Miscellaneous Deposits", U.S. Bureau of Mines Reports of Investigations 6334.
Walsh, William and William Orem
1906 Biennial Report of Inspector of Mines for 1905-1906. Independent Publishing, Helena.
Walsh, William and William Orem
1912 Biennial Report of Inspector of Mines for 1911-1912. Independent Publishing Co. Helena.
Weed, Walter Harvey
1900 "Enrichment of Mineral Veins by Later Metallic Sulphides", Geol. LSoc. America Bull., Vol. II, pp. 179-206.
1900 "The Enrichment of Gold and Silver Veins", American Institute of Mining and Engineering Transcripts, Vol. 30, pp. 434-448.
1903 "Gold Mines of the Marysville District, Montana", U. S. Geological Survey, Bull. 213, pp. 88-89.
Weed, Walter Harvey
1902 "Ore Deposits Near Igneous Contacts", American Institute of Mining Engineering Transactions, Vol. 33, pp. 715-746.
1906 "Ore Shoots", Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 82, No. 5, p. 196.
Wheeler, William F.
1878 "The Emma Miller Mining District, Montana; A New Bonanza", Eng. and Min. Journal, Vol. 25, No. 10, p. 168.
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 Districts of the Dillon Quadrangle, Montana and Adjacent Areas", U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 574.
Wolle, Muriel S.
1963 Montana Pay Dirt. A Guide to the Mining Camps of the Treasure State. Sage Books, Denver.
1933 "Problems of Batholiths", Nat. Research Council, Div. of Geol. and Geog., Washington, D.C.