First Discovery of Gold in Montana Historical Marker


Gold Creek 59733,Southwest Montana,Powell County

Map Location

Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
General info

Opposite this point, a creek flows into the Clark Fork River from the west. In 1852, a French halfbreed, Francois Finlay, commonly known as “Benetsee,” prospected the creek for placer gold. Finlay had some experience in the California goldfields but was inadequately equipped with tools. However, he found colors and in 1858 James and Granville Stuart, Reece Anderson and Thomas Adams, having heard of Benetsee’s discovery, prospected the creek. The showing obtained convinced them that there were rich placer mines in Montana. The creek was first called “Benetsee Creek” and afterward became known as Gold Creek.

The rumors of the strike reached disappointed “Pikes Peakers” as well as the backwash of prospectors from California and resulted in an era of prospecting that uncovered the famous placer deposits of Montana.

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