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HISTORIC CONTEXT

aka Bear Gulch

aka Sheepeater

Although the Jardine District, located in the vicinity of the town of Jardine in the upper Yellowstone River valley, was initially known for its placer mining, the success of the lode mining quickly outweighed placer returns. The district, along with the New World district, contributed most of the development and production reported in Park County.

Sahinen (1935) and Wolle (1963) have conflicting reports about this district. Sahinen states that although placer gold was discovered in this district in 1866 the area was not actively developed until the 1880s because it was part of the Crow Indian reservation. During the 1880s the land was withdrawn from the reservation and mining progressed. According to Wolle (1963) placer gold was discovered in this district at the mouth of Bear Gulch during the winter of 1865-66 by "Uncle" Joe Brown and two other prospectors. In May, after a few weeks' work, they recovered $1,800 in gold. From then until 1884, Brown and his partner Vilas worked their property searching for rich deposits in the creek. Between 1875 and 1877, Brown and the other placer miners constructed a system of ditches to the several bars. These ditches, which cost several thousand dollars, were used long after their builders abandoned them.

Quartz deposits were uncovered in the 1870s by James Graham and "Uncle" Joe Brown on a slope later known as Mineral Hill. They were not developed until 1877 when Graham, Brown and Heffner built an arrastra at the Legal Tender claim but found the ore too refractory to yield to that method of extraction. Within a year or two, other lodes were discovered, but little was done with them until Brown sold his claim to Major Eaton and Sturgess, who extensively developed their interests. Placer claims were explored by tunnels and drifts, and a channel 206 feet wide was uncovered. Their corporation, the Bear Gulch Placer Company installed hydraulic equipment which consisted of a giant "served by 1200 feet of 12-inch pipe". The equipment was the most powerful placer mining apparatus in the world with as vertical drop of 400 feet. Ironically, the operation only recovered $100 in gold. Eaton also erected a combination five-stamp mill and sawmill on Bear Creek to handle the oxidized surface ores from the lode claims. This ran successfully for two years, but disagreements among the stockholders and the difficulty of hauling the ore to the railroad at Cinnabar forced a shutdown in 1866. Local reports suggest that only about five ounces of gold were actually recovered from Bear Creek.

In 1890 Edgerton & Jewell of Helena reopened the Eaton mill and added five stamps. The property operated successfully until the panic of 1893 brought another shutdown. The district was fairly quiet for the next five years and in July, 1898 the district came alive with the arrival of Harry Bush who actively promoted the area. Bush negotiated a three-year lease with E. F.Wilson, the receiver for the First National Bank of Helena, which held the Edgerton-Jewell properties on Mineral Hill. Bush then organized the Bear Gulch Mining Company and secured investors to help begin operations. He enlarged the Eaton mill to twenty stamps and after installing new vanners and tables, successfully milled the oxidized ores. He also concentrated on laying out the townsite of Jardine. Within a year, 130 new buildings were erected and the district was booming.

Bush organized another corporation, the Revenue Mining Company, to take over the property of the Bear Gulch Mining Company and to acquire addition claims. Eventually, due to inadequate mine development, insufficient funds, and reckless spending, the company was brought into receivership and work was suspended by litigation. In 1901, Bush was forced out of the mining company and, after more litigation, control of the Revenue Mining Company and the Bear Gulch Mining company was acquired by "Cabbage Ryan" and Peter L. Kimberly. In the spring of 1903, Ryan and Kimberly consolidated these properties with Kimberly's inactive mining company and organized the Kimberly - Montana Gold Mining & Milling Company. Under Ryan's supervision a hydro-electric plant was built in Bear Gulch and a 150-ton cyanide plant was erected near the mines. Plans called for another 40-stamp mill and a future plant with 500 stamps. Underground drilling was done with the aid of a new air compressor. The improvements were useful, but more costly than the company could afford. The company was faced with financial setbacks and was unpopular in Jardine. However the company was credited with the discovery of scheelite, a tungsten deposit of commercial importance. Although the Kimberly-Montana Company shipped several hundred tons of scheelite in 1906 it still failed. Once again legal entanglements stopped work in the district.

The mine changed hands three times before a settlement was made in 1917. The Jardine Gold Mining &Milling Company acquired the property and equipment in 1914 through a bondholders' foreclosure sale. By this settlement the Jardine Gold Mine and Milling Company owned just about everything in Bear Gulch; a large group of developed mines, twenty-three patented claims, a townsite, hydro-electric plant, and 350 additional acres. Mining and milling of gold and low-grade scheelite ores commenced within the year and continued until 1921, when the properties were purchased by the Jardine Mining Company and refinanced. Ore rich in arsenopyrite was discovered, and concentrates shipped to Tacoma in 1922 averaged 38 percent arsenic trioxide (commonly known as white arsenic). A complete arsenic plant which cost $125,000 was built in 1923 to produce both crude and refined arsenic trioxide from arsenical gold concentrates. The plant operated almost continuously from 1923 to 1926 and again from 1932 to 1936. The plant closed in 1942 due to war-time restrictions. However, the continued need for arsenic resulted in a Federal government contract to rehabilitate the plant and install new equipment. White arsenic was delivered to Metals Reserve Company; over a two-year period from January, 1944 through 1945. On May 8, 1948, fire destroyed the cyanide plant, and on July 15, the Jardine Mining Company closed the mill. During its years of operation, the mill treated 33,416 tons of gold ore, much of it from the mine immediately outside Jardine From 1902 to 1947 the district produced continuously, yielding 171,408 ounces of lode gold; 407 ounces of placer gold; 33,262 ounces of silver; 4,368 pounds of copper; and 1,292 pounds of lead. A total of 925,959 tons of ore were sold or treated during this time (Reed 1950; Wolle 1963).

Gneisses and schists of Archean age are the principal rocks exposed here. They were folded, faulted, altered by movement and pressure, cut by intrusives, and locally covered by volcanic rocks of Cretaceous or early Tertiary age. The ore, consisting of gold, arsenopyrite,and scheelite, occurs in lenses in mineralized shear zones in biotitic quartz schist. Six zones, from 50 to 150 feet apart have been developed. The strike of the zones is North and the dip is 20 degrees to 35 degrees West. Three classes of ore are mined: altered and iron-stained schist mineralized by arsenopyrite. Scheelite is scattered throughout all the ore but is locally more abundant. Ore shoots range from three to 20 feet wide, 50 to 200 feet high, and 300 to 800 feet long. Gold, arsenious oxide, and tungsten concentrate is derived from the ore (Sahinen 1935; Duykers 1938).

BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT

There appears to be some significant conflict in the mining literature as to the distinction between the Jardine and Crevasse mining districts. While the Crevasse district is also known as the Jardine, it is generally acknowledged that the Jardine district discussed here lies north of the Crevasse district, and is also known as the Bear Gulch or Sheepeater district. However, Lyden (1948) states that the placer gold in Bear Creek (Gulch?) originates in the "gold-quartz veins of the Sheepeater-Crevasse district." A USGS mineral survey (Anon. 1983) defines the Sheepeater district as encompassing the northern half of the AMRB (1994) Jardine-Crevasse district (Reed 1950; Wolle 1963).

Sahinen (1935) places the Jardine district in the vicinity of the town of Jardine, in Bear Gulch about 5 miles northeast of Gardiner, the terminus of the Yellowstone Park branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Reed (1950) locates the district six miles northeast of Gardiner, within the Gallatin National Forest.

Based on Montana Bureau of Mines (n.d.) and other literature, the district is as defined by the AMRB (1994). Significant drainages in the district include Bear Gulch or Bear Creek, Cedar Creek, and Slip and Slide Creek. Monitor Peak is located in the north-center of the district, and the community of Jardine is located near the southern boundary of the district.

Figure 1 shows the Jardine district as defined by the AMRB (1994) with a smaller area which defines the district as described by Sahinen (1935) and Reed (1950).

HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES

Jardine Mine

The mining activity around the town of Jardine began as placer and hydraulic mining, but hard rock development began on the Mineral Hill lode claims sometime after 1898. Gold and arsenic were both important products from the mine, which may have simply been called the Jardine Mine, although by 1925, only low grade gold-bearing ores were being significantly worked.

In July, 1898 the district came alive with the arrival of Harry Bush who actively promoted the area. Bush negotiated a three-year lease with E. F.Wilson, the receiver for the First National Bank of Helena, which held the Edgerton-Jewell properties on Mineral Hill. He then organized the Bear Gulch Mining Company and secured investors to help begin operations. He enlarged the Eaton (Jardine) mill to 20 stamps and after installing new vanners and tables, successfully milled the oxidized ores. He also concentrated on laying out the townsite of Jardine. Within a year, 130 new buildings were erected and the district was booming (Robie 1925; Anon 1941; Wolle 1963).

Bush organized another corporation, the Revenue Mining Company,to take over the property of the Bear Gulch Mining Company and to acquire addition claims. Due to inadequate mine development, insufficient funds, and reckless spending, the company was brought into receivership and work was suspended due to litigation. In 1901, Bush was forced out of the mining company and, after more litigation, control of the Revenue Mining Company and the Bear Gulch Mining company was acquired by "Cabbage Ryan" and Peter L. Kimberly. In the spring of 1903 Ryan and Kimberly consolidated these properties with Kimberly's inactive mining company and organized the Kimberly - Montana Gold Mining & Milling Company. Under Ryan's supervision a hydro-electric plant was built in Bear Gulch and a 150-ton cyanide plant was erected near the mines. Plans called for another 40-stamp mill and a future plant with 500 stamps. Underground drilling was done with the aid of a new air compressor. The improvements were useful, but more costly than the company could afford. The company was faced with financial setbacks and was unpopular in Jardine. However the company was credited with the discovery of scheelite, a tungsten deposit of commercial importance. Although the Kimberly-Montana Company shipped several hundred tons of scheelite in 1906, it still failed. Once again legal entanglements stopped work in the district (Robie 1925; Wolle 1963).

The mine changed hands three times before a settlement was made in 1917. The Jardine Gold Mining & Milling Company acquired the property and equipment in 1914 through a bondholders' foreclosure sale. By this settlement the Jardine Gold Mine & Milling Company owned most of the properties in Bear Gulch; a large group of developed mines, twenty-three patented claims, a townsite, hydro-electric plant, and 350 additional acres. Mining and milling of gold and low-grade scheelite ores commenced within the year and continued until 1921, when the properties were purchased by the Jardine Mining Company and refinanced. Ore rich in arsenopyrite was discovered, and concentrates shipped to Tacoma in 1922 averaged 38 percent arsenic trioxide (commonly known as white arsenic). A complete arsenic plant which cost $125,000 was built in 1923 to produce both crude and refined arsenic trioxide from arsenical gold concentrates. The plant operated almost continuously from 1923 to 1926 and again from 1932 to 1936. The plant closed in 1942 due to war-time restrictions. However the continued need for arsenic resulted in a Federal government contract to rehabilitate the plant and install new equipment. White arsenic was then delivered to Metals Reserve Company; over a two-year period from January, 1944 through 1945. On May 8, 1948, fire destroyed the cyanide plant, and on July 15, the Jardine Mining Company closed the mill. During its years of operation, the mill treated 33,416 tons of gold ore, much of it from the mine immediately outside Jardine (Robie 1925; Wolle 1963).

The mining activity on Mineral Hill and around the town has been incorporated into the Jardine Historic District, along with the historic camp of Jardine (Howard and Brownell 1988).

No other mines are mentioned in the literature, though it is likely that placer mining occurred on most of the drainages in the district.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau (AMRB)

1994 Mining districts of Montana. Maps 1:100,000 and Map #94-NRIS-129. Compiled and edited by Joel Chavez. Prepared by Montana State Library Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) for Montana Department of State Lands Helena.

Bowman, A. H. and Barclay Craighead

1928 Montana, Resources and Opportunities Edition, Vol. 3. Department of Agricultural, Labor and Industry, Division of Publicity.

Brownell, Joan L.

1982 "Archaeological Survey (82-6A-8-1) Albert Placer Claims", Beaverhead National Forest, Gardiner District.

Byrne, John and Frank Hunter

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.

Duykers, Wolter

1938 "Geology and Ore Deposits of Jardine, Montana", Thesis (Bachelor of Science), Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict

1908 Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report.

Howard, Elaine and Joan L. Brownell

1988 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment Gardiner-Jardine 69 kV Transmission Line", with contributions by Connie Moore. Report for the Montana Power Company, Butte.

Huppe, Kathy

1987 "Literature Search Emigrant-Gardiner 69 kV," draft report prepared for the Montana Power Company. Highland Technical Services.

Leeson, M. A.

1885 History of Montana 1739-1885. Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago.

Lovering, Thomas S.

1933 "Tungsten Deposits", Ore Deposits of the Western States (Lindgren volume), Am. Inst. Min. Met. Eng., pp. 665-671.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 Gold Placers of Montana, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Butte, Reprint 6, 1987. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

n.d. Vertical files for mining districts.

Newell, Alan S., Daniel Gallacher, T. Weber Greiser, James R. McDonald

1984 "Cultural Resource Impact Assessment and Management Plan for the Jardine Project , Jardine, Montana". Prepared for Westech, Inc., Helena.

Pearce, Richard

1898 "Notes on the Occurrence of Selenium with Pyrite Rich in Gold and Silver, and Remarks on a Gold Nugget From Montana", Colorado Sci. Soc. Proc., Vol. 6, pp. 157-159; Colorado Sci. Soc., Bull. 5, pp. 2-3.

Raymond, Rossiter W. (compiler)

1877 "Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains ", Eighth annual report; United States Treasury Department, Government Printing Office, Washington D. C.

Reed, Glenn C.

1951 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (except fuels), Park County, Montana",. U. S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7546.

Robie, Edward H.

1925 "Producing Gold and Arsenic at Jardine, Montana", Eng. and Mine. Journal-Press, Vol. 120, pp. 765-772.

Sahinen, Uuno Mathias

1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Geology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Geological Engineering.

Spriggs, A. E. (Chairman)

1919 Industrial Accident Board, 4th Annual Report.

Steere, Peter L., Fredric L. Quivik, and Paul A. Anderson

1982 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation Project Homestake Mining Company Properties Jardine Montana", Cultural Resource Division, Mineral Research Center, Butte.

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.

Trauerian, Carl J.

1941 "Strategic Minerals of Montana; Tungsten", Western Min. News, Vol. 15, No. 6, p. 9.

Tyler, Paul McIntosh and Alice Virginia Petar

1934 "Arsenic", U. S. Bureau of Mines, Econ. Paper 17.

Vanderburg, William D.

1935 "Tungsten; Pt. 1", U. S. Bureau of Mines, Information Circular 6821, pp. 1-30.

Winchell, Alexander Newton, see also Winchell, 1896.

1910 "Notes on Tungsten Minerals from Montana", Econ. Geology, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 158-165; Mining World, Vol. 33, pp. 17-18.

Wolle, Muriel Sibell

1963 Montana Pay Dirt: A Guide to the Mining Camps of the Treasure State Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, Athens.

Anonymous

1941 "Jardine Mining Company", Mining World, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 31-34.

1983 "Mineral Resources of the North Absaroka Wilderness Study Area, Park and Sweet Grass Counties, Montana", Geological Survey Bulletin 1505, USGS and US Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C.