A Montana history lesson: Part 1

At this point in Mary’s journal – right around the time of the July 4, 1932, entry – she began jotting down some historical information regarding Montana and Marysville. She does not state the source of her information.

The entries are undated but I will post them over the next few days.

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye (1685-1749), sculpture devant l’hôtel du Parlement de Québec, aile droite, série des découvreurs. By sculpteur:Jean Bailleul / photo: Jean Gagnon (J’ai pris moi-même ce cliché) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nelson Gulch has the best gold found in Montana. Snowshoe Gulch had the largest gold nugget found in Montana. The Indian name of Montana is “Tozabe-Shock-up” [Tay-a-be-shock-up] meaning the Country of the Mountains. The French were the first white people to settle on its soil. Sieur De La Verendoye [Sieur de La Verendrye] & his sons were the discoverers of the Rocky Mountains by way of Lake Superior & Winnipeg & rivers Assiniboine & Missouri in 1743.
Alex Burrell came to Mary’le [Marysville, Montana] in 1888 and was superintendent for the Montana Mining Co. James A. Hendricks came here in 1883, freighted from Helena until the R.R. was built 1887. William Mayger [Meagher?] mined in the spring of 1864 on Silver Creek with W. Rhodes & Alvord Heitze. He located the first placer mine in the gulch in 1866. They put in a bed rock flume & mined until 1876 making 30.00 a day. He discovered the first float of the famous Drum Lummon [also spelled “Drumlummon”] mine. They were unlucky in finding the vein so Thos. Cruse came over from Trinity after the snow thaw, the first hole he sunk disclosed the vein. He built the first five stamp pan amalgamation mill. It was the first built in Lewis & Clark County. The machinery for this mill came by boat from St. Louis to Ft. Benton thereby teams to Marysville.
The first steam boat came up the Missouri to Ft. Benton in 1832. Benetsee1 . . . of the Red River country found the first gold in Montana on Gold Creek, in 1852; 1852 [1858?] came Granville and Jas. Stuart. Hellgate was named Gold Creek after and it was first Benetsee Creek.
1878 Ralston had the first stone house, used as a butcher shop. It’s now owned by Gus Zimmerman. Thos. Cruse came to Montana in 1866 at Virginia City. 1867 he came to Helena then placer mined in Trinity. April 1876 he discovered the Drum Lummond [also “Drumlummon”] mine after Geo. [Detweiler?] and others abandoned it. In 1882, he sold it for a million and a half dollars thro Mr. [Brat?] Nober and others keeping 1/6 for himself. In 1887 he established the first savings bank in Helena & Montana. Geo. Kirby was born in Eagle Harbor, Michigan in 1853. 1878 he worked at the Penobscot & Belmont mines, and [in] Marysville as blacksmith for Thos Cruse. In 1883 he went in business for himself. Their oldest daughter (Veronica Maud Kirby) was the 2nd girl baby born [in Marysville]. Lizzie Ralston [was] first. Geo. Kirby Jr. [was] the first boy born in Marysville.”


I updated this blog post on August 4, 2017, to include some hyperlinks. Some hyperlinks are directly on point. Others will require some searching within the article.
  1. A trapper named Francois Finlay, also known as Benetsee. Click here for more information about Finlay and Gold Creek.
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