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Cooke City, or the New World Mining District.
Among the greatest possible mining camps in the world today is that of the New World Mining district. As early as 1864 Peter More, George Huston and other prospectors came up to this locality, but were unsuccessful in their search for gold. Owing to the hostilities of the Indians to white men trespass ing into the Crow reservation, the latter did not ven ture into this region until 1870, when .Tames Gour ley, Ed. Hibbard, Horn Miller and Bart Henderson discovered some float galena ore in Soda Butte creek but, on meeting the obstacles of yore, were forced to return to the agency at Fort Parker. I 11 1871 the same party returned and Horn Miller dis covered a vein of argentiferous ore. Soon several lodes were discovered by them, but in the fall they were forced to return on account of the snow, the altitude being 7,800 feet. The news of these discoveries flew like wildfire, but capital could not be induced to invest until the millstone of the Crow res ervation was removed in 1882. By further prospecting an area of nine miles in length by tliree in width, shows a constant suc cession of veins filled with high grade ores, while beyond this limit a great number of claims have been located, thus an im mense area of the richest min eral lands are embraced in this one region. With Cooke City as a cen tral camp, and acting as the axle to a wheel-of-fortune, the rich mineral veins penetrate the surrounding country in ev ery direction. During the year 1882 Major Geo. O. Eaton, ex-surveyor gen eral for Montana, purchased the Great Republic group of mines and formed the Republic Mining company. They spent some $300,000 in the develop ment of their mines and in the erection of a water jacket smel ter. This mass of machinery only continued in operation for a short time, owing to a fail ure in securing a railroad by way of the northern limits of the National Park, which was considered forbidden ground for this form of internal im provements. The camp now remained inactive until 1885, when the owners of the plant deemed it advisable to renew their mining operations—this time running for about one hundred days. During this run 440 tons of sil ver-lead bullion were produced which sold in Pennsylvania for more than $95,000 ; but owing to the great expense of freighting coke into this camp, a distance of about sixty-five miles, and the bullion out for nearly the same distance, did not net sufficient profit for the encouragement of active operations. Since 1886 other mining companies have been in operation off and on, only to close with the one hindrance—excessive freight and no rail road. Experts estimate to-day that there is over 100, 000 tons of ore on the dumps ready for immediate shipment, in the event of better transportation. MINES. The deepest mine in Cooke is the Morning Star, showing a continuous vein of ore averaging $35 in gold and silver and 60 per cent lead, while the shaft is free from water. Among the prominent mines of the camp are the Black Warrior, Shoo Fly, Little Daisy, International, Snowslide, Acme, Talisman, Homestake, Alice E., Moulton, Bunker Hill, Iceberg and Red Mountain lode. The Little Daisy shows beautiful specimens of galena containing wire gold. r% r: Mm; ■M 7 : ■ fa \ ■ -wv- A T: % ~ I Im V ,1Éi% : .% >Y - -*% 1 ic «V. *. . & m ■ T# # ». ' ¥ j* 4 % % -, % V & ■ ■ ®H •V> ' ... « Ü, _ WHERE WIRE GOLD IS EXPOSED AT THE SURFACE IN HIDDEN TREASURE NO. 3. The Homestake discloses large bodies of ore carry ing lead, copper, gold and silver, and the Red Moun tain lode shows thousands of tons of ore on the dump, running as high as 800 ounces in silver. The White Warrior group during its active moments pro duced ore that assayed as high as $7,000 per ton, av eraging, all told, $80. THE ORE. The character of the ore varies throng h every gradation of class and richness, silver-bearing galena ores predominating ; yet free-milling quartz has been found in a number of locations, some of it rich in gold. Most of the ores that are essentially argentif erous show a fair percentage of gold, so that though the district is principally silver bearing it is by 110 means entirely so, and may yet rank high for its production of the more precious metal. The galena ores are for the most part of the class that yields readily to the simplest smelting processes, while others are so refractory as to require preliminary roasting to drive off the sulphurtes. It is fair to state that there is a prevalent opinion that with proper treatment in the smelter the roasting process might be avoided with all the ores of the district. The assays vary from the lowest to fabu lous figures ; but in this day of cautious investment in mines, an assay is considered as little more than an evidence of what the rock contains, rather than the amount. One of the prominent features tlirough out the mineral propositions is the extent of the ore bodies. The surface indications are of a character that the most inexperienced prospector would notice as presenting evidences of mineral wealth, and in every instance where the development has been car ried forward the work lias uncovered lodes of in creasing extent and no diminishing richness. Cooke City is a typical mining camp, situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet and entirely surrounded by rugged moun tains, whose summits are always snow-capped. Some of the largest rivers of Montana rise in the district, i. e., Clark's Fork, Madison, Gallatin and the Yel lowstone. The city is watered by Soda Butte creek and so situated in the narrow gulch that there is only room for one street, in order that the houses may occupy level ground. The structures that comprise the town vary from the dirt-covered log shacks to neat and commodious frame buildings. Brick clay of the common grade is found abundantly ; also a good quality of fire clay that has been tested and found to be of first-class material for the manufac and West Boulder are the claims of James Black burn, Harvey Bliss and Mr. Budd. In 1894 a postoffice was established at Contact, with Janies Blackburn as postmaster, who retained this position until 1897, when, by Mr. Blackburn re tiring, A. B. Gould was appointed as his successor. It was so named by this region being a contact of lime and granite formations. About ten miles below Contact is located a good lignite coal camp. It has proven to be good black smith coal, will cake and coke and, undoubtedly, is a great stimulus to the future mining possibilities of the entire Boulder region. The Pioneer Resident of the National Park. George W. Marshall, of Rock Island, Illinois, is the pioneer resident of the Geyser Basin of our National park. He owned the first stage line that ran into this exclusive resort, his family being the first that wintered there, while the first child born in the "Enchanted Land" was his daughter Rose. ture of fire brick. At the pres ent time the city is well sup plied L with hotels, lodging houses,and a supply store which meets the present requirements, of the camp. Natural Bridge District, or Contact, About thirty-two miles above the mouth of the Boulder is located the mining camp of the Natural Bridge district, with Contact as a center. It was supposed that this was a rich mineral bearing district for many years, but during the summer of 1894 A. Drago and Hector McRae verified this be lief by discovering quartz in Slate mountain. It is a free milling proposition, and up to date has some tliree hundred feet of tunneling. Since then the Minnie, Minnie Extension, Great West, Standard and Nat ural Bridge claims have been located, assays running from $50 to $100 in gold, but owing to the lack of better facilities to treat the ore they have been progressing very slowly. Fol lowing this and on the same mountain is the Oregon group, of E. Fowler and Jas. Howell, while the Plymouth group is further southwest of this. Next comes the Bonanza or Newell mountain, located by P. J. Don nelly, who represents some ten or more claims on this and Slate mountain, all free-mill ing propositions and rich in ore. I 11 the spring of 1898 Thos. McHugh and W. W. Wishon of Butte located a claim on Gould Mountain, showing a good working proposition in copper. I. J. Cooper and Will iam Kearns have several claims on Froze-to-Death creek in the Snowies, showing gold and cop per. O 11 this same creek and near the divide of the Boulder