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Montana Historic Gold Mining Locations

Montana, which yielded a total of 17,752,000 ounces of gold from 1862 through 1965, is seventh among the gold-producing States. Gold was first discovered in 1852 in placers in Powell County, but the influx of prospectors did not begin until the discovery of rich placers in the Bannack district in 1862. Numerous placers were found in rapid succession, among them those of Alder Gulch, which were to become the most productive placers in the State. Placers, which contributed almost half of Montana's total gold, had their greatest output before 1870; nevertheless, dredging and hydraulic placer mining were conducted on a large scale until World War II. Development of lodes, hindered by lack of railroads in the early days, progressed rapidly in the 1880's and was accelerated greatly with the expansion of operations at Butte in the early 1900's.*

* Principal Gold-Producing Districts of the United States by A. H. Koschmann and M. H. Bergendahl, 1968 USGS Professional Paper 610 at