Gallatin area mining history

georgia4runner

georgia4runner

Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Bozman, Montana
Good morning y'all

At the 406 Cruisers meeting last night I mentioned a project of mine to document and find remnants of the mining operations in and around Gallatin County area. I'm a junior in the history department at MSU and my passion for history is equal with my passion for the great outdoors. As many of us use GAIA it is very easy to find the mining claims listed under the "mines and minerals resource" layer. It does a good job of showing what is around these hills but nothing more than that. More information is available from state agencies on the most recent survey of sites but I believe most of those surveys were done in the mid 1990s, so things have changed at the sites since then.

This is where you all come into play. Many of our expeditions have taken us to remote lakes and trailheads, but along the way I know many of us have stumbled onto an old cabin or something to do with a mining operation. The first time I did on a drive to Monument Peak i was so enthralled with the little mining camp halfway to the top of the road. Some of you have expressed interest in sharing places you have found or know about, I am looking for any information big or small. Using the GAIA layer I mentioned I have been able to sift through the information regarding some claims as nothing more than a small ditch in a field or a prospect mine that was filled in decades ago. While finding other claims that match up with google earth imagery to indicate a large mining operation that would be perfect to document. I'm mainly looking for first hand information along the lines of " I was on X trail the other week at about X miles in I saw this old cabin or old piece of machinery, here's the location", or even photos with approximate locations, half of the fun of these sorts of things is trying to find the sites! I would mostly prefer it to be on public land as most often the abandoned mines on private land are much harder to secure access to explore and document from the landowner due to safety concerns. I am by no means a mining surveyors, simply a historian wanting to tell the often untold story of this areas mining history. Butte gets all the glory and credit but there is so much history in our own backyard.

Another reason for wanting to do this project is that the forest service often restricts access to some of these sites after reclamation by digging up the roads and denying access with boulders and logs. This video taken about an hour and half north of here in broadwater county shows exactly the destruction the Forest Service to an old trail in the name of "reclamation" and restrict access for those who want to learn about mining history.

Lastly, I would prefer a private message if you have a good lead as to discourage vandals and those seeking to destroy history a chance to ruin something for the rest of us. I understand these places are not always hard to find, but sometimes all they need is a hint to find it.

Thank you!
 
clemson55

clemson55

Joined
Jun 6, 2004
Messages
4,322
Location
Bozeman, MT
I don't have any place specific in Gallatin to point you to. In my experience driving around there seems to be way more mining to our west in the Tobacco Roots though. I'll be interested to see what you come up with in Gallatin that I can check out.
 

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