Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills Historic Marker


Montana City ,Helena Area,Jefferson County

Map Location

Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric SitesLewis and Clark Expedition
General info

The mountains to the west are the Elkhorns. Those to the east across the Canyon Ferry Lake are the Big Belts. Both of these ranges are highly mineralized. Confederate Gulch of the Big Belts was famous in the 1860s for its rich placer diggings. Its Montana Bar, at the old boom camp of Diamond City, now a ghost town, has always been known as “the richest acre of ground in the world.” The pay streak ran as high as $2,000 to the pan.

Most of the gulches in the Elkhorns were active as placer camps in the early days and this range is dotted with quartz mines still producing lead, zinc, silver, and gold. Like most of the mountains in Montana, they have been here a long time.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition came up the Missouri River through this valley in July 1805.

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