Mining Country Historical Marker

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Helena ,Helena Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
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General info

This is about the center of a rich mining district extending from Butte to Helena. The mountains are spurs of the Continental Divide.

Ghost and active mining camps are to be found in almost every gulch. The ores yield gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. The district has been producing since quartz mining came into favor following the first wave of placer mining in the 1860s. In those days placer deposits were the poor man’s eldorado. They needed little more than a grubstake, a pick, and a shovel to work them. Quartz properties, seldom rich at the surface, required machinery and capital, transportation, and smelting facilities.

Before smelters were built in Montana, ore from some of the richest mines in this region was shipped by freight team, boat, and rail to Swansea, Wales, and Freiburg, Germany, for treatment.

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