Near Greenough in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Ghost Town Byway
Discover Stories Worth Their Weight in Gold
Once, miners swapped stories in the saloons of Beartown, Top O'Deep and Reynolds City — towns that exist only in history and local legend. Once, loggers felled great trees with crosscut saws to supply timber for railroad ties and mine shafts.
Today, follow the Byway to the ghost town of Garnet and continue over the summit to complete a 26-mile journey. You'll take home memories of country that is rich in natural wealth and in stories of hardy individuals who lived and died here.
Between 75 to 70 million years ago, great thrust faults carried the Sapphire Block eastward from the top of the Idaho batholith (near today's Montana/Idaho border). The Garnet Range forms the northern edge of the Sapphire Block. The key to gold mineralization lies in the granite magma that rose molten from the earth's crust, forming a slippery base for the Block to slide on. When the granite cooled in the fractures of sedimentary rocks, the crystallization process separated
A Close Alliance
Timberrrmr! The crash of falling trees joined the whistle of stamp mills in the Garnet Range at the turn of the century. The two industries depended on each other. Logging profits came from the sale of timber for mineshaft beams, railroad ties and fuel for the trains that hauled ore from quartz lode mines.
Namesake of the Garnet Range
When the granitic magma entered limestone, the two reacted to form a new kind of rock called a “skarn” that consisted mostly of garnet crystals.
1865 • Gold strike at Bear Creek; placer mining era
1883 • Completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad
1895 • Founding of Mitchell, soon to be called Garnet
1896 • Completion of Coloma-Garnet Bearmouth Road
1898 • Fairview quartz lode mine opens
1912 • Fire in Garnet; end of hard-rock era
1937 • Establishment of Lubrecht Experimental Forest
1956 • Barite Mine starts up
Location. 46° 53.208′ N, 113° 27.679′ W. Marker is near Greenough, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker is on Garnet Range Road 0.1 miles south of State Highway Touch for map. Marker is located in a large pull-out and parking area on the south side of the road. Marker is in this post office area: Bonner MT 59823, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Logging Shaped These Woods (approx. 1.7 miles away); Sand Park Cemetery (approx. 5.2 miles away); A Vast Network of Indigenous Trails. (approx. 9.1 miles away); Big Blackfoot Milling Company (approx. 9.1 miles away); Souvenirs of the Ice Age (approx. 9.1 miles away); Madison Limestone and the Garnet Mountains (approx. 13.6 miles away).
More about this marker. Marker is a large, framed, rectangular composite plaque, mounted at eye-level in a heavy-duty steel and timber kiosk frame.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 26, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 25, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.