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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Garrison in Powell County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

First Discovery of Gold in Montana

 
 
First Discovery of Gold in Montana Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 8, 2010
1. First Discovery of Gold in Montana Marker
Inscription. Opposite this point a creek flows into the Clark Fork River from the west. In 1852, a French mixed-blood named Francois “Benetsee,” Finlay, prospected the creek for placer gold. Although he raised some color, Finlay was ill-equipped to take advantage of his discovery and the mine languished. Several years later, in 1858, brothers James and Granville Stuart, Reece Anderson and Thomas Adams, having heard of Finlay’s discovery, prospected the creek. They found enough gold to convince them that there were rich placer mines in Montana. The creek was first called “Benetsee Creek” and afterwards became known as Gold Creek. 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.

It was also near here in September, 1883, that Northern Pacific Railway president Henry Villard drove the last spike on the nation’s second trans-continental railroad. In addition to hundreds of spectators, the gala event was attended by company officials, President Ulysses S. Grant and Captain John Mullan, who constructed a road along the river in 1860.
 
Location. 46° 35.138′ N, 112° 54.395′ 
First Discovery of Gold in Montana Marker image. Click for full size.
By Google Street View (©2014 Google), June 2012
2. First Discovery of Gold in Montana Marker
At west end of car parking lot
W. Marker is near Garrison, Montana, in Powell County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 90. Click for map. Marker is located at Gold Creek Westbound Rest Area on I-90 westbound lanes between Exits 170 and 166. Marker can only be accessed from the westbound lanes of the freeway. Marker is in this post office area: Garrison MT 59731, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Winter of 1886 (approx. 14.7 miles away); 1959 Riot (approx. 15.6 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marker is located at the west end of the car parking lot in the rest area.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
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