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

The Prickly Pear Diggings

 
 
The Prickly Pear Diggings Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 14, 2021
1. The Prickly Pear Diggings Marker
Inscription.  The Fisk or Northern Overland Expedition camped at the future site of Montana City just east of I-15 in 1862. The outfit, consisting of 125 emigrants, left Minnesota in June, 1862, under the leadership of Capt. James Fisk for the purpose of opening a wagon route across the northern Great Plains to Fort Benton, the eastern terminus of the Mullan Road. After arriving in Montana, expedition members drifted south toward mining camps in Idaho and Grasshopper Creek in Montana.
The found "Gold Tom," one of Montana's first prospectors, holed up in a tepee near here scratching gravel for gold along Prickly Pear Creek. The few colors he panned out wouldn't have made much of a dent in the national debt, but about half of the Fisk outfit caught gold fever and wintered here. By 1864, a few hundred men mined along the creek with only marginal success.
Montana City faded away as richer gold strikes elsewhere in the territory lured its residents away. By 1870, it was little more than a memory. The Montana Central Railroad reestablished it in 1888 as a station on its line. Today, Montana City is a distinct community that is proud of its heritage.
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Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 46° 31.698′ N, 111° 56.766′ W. Marker is in Montana City, Montana, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 282 and Stoney Brook Drive (Virgina Road), on the right when traveling north on State Highway 282. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clancy MT 59634, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Manlove Homestead (approx. 4.3 miles away); East Helena Main Street Park (approx. 4.4 miles away); Cogswell Building (approx. 5.1 miles away); Unemployment Compensation Commission (approx. 5.2 miles away); Justice Building and Montana State Library (approx. 5.2 miles away); Mitchell Building (approx. 5.2 miles away); Board of Health Building (approx. 5.2 miles away); Livestock Building (approx. 5.2 miles away).
 
The Prickly Pear Diggings Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 14, 2021
2. The Prickly Pear Diggings Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Mar. 2, 2024