Legend has it that on his first go to to the Montana in 1840, Father DeSmet got here throughout a large gold nugget. After prayerful consideration, he saved the discover a secret, thereby ignoring a attainable supply of wealth for the Jesuit order and as a substitute selecting to focus solely on missionary efforts.
In keeping with John Owen (he of Ft Owen fame), within the 1860s lots of his buddies and acquaintances have been staking claims within the Bitter Root Valley in areas comparable to Huge Creek, Burnt Fork, Dry Gulch, Eight Mile and up each the East and West Forks of the Bitter Root River.
An 1869 report issued by the Montana Bureau of Mines, acknowledged “There are some Chinamen engaged on a bar towards the pinnacle of the Bitter Root River the place they earn small wages ($4-5 per day) for a really quick time within the Spring”. A placer declare was filed in June, 1872 on Three Mile and one other one a 12 months later one mile south of Huge Pine Hole. There was a plethora of mines within the space with such colourful names as Hoke Poke, Pin Hook and Shock.
The primary mining firm within the Stevensville space was filed on the Missoula County Courthouse in June of 1866 on Eight Mile.
In a March 1868 entry in his journal, Thomas Harris wrote “city web site laid out on the wealthy gold ledge generally known as White Cloud which was found by Mr. McClure.”
The White Cloud was situated east of Florence on the head of the Eight Mile valley. It operated for about 30 years. When it was working at full capability, some 50 to 60 males labored on the mine.