The goal of this blog is to help readers locate their lineage and discover the forces that motivated them, and learn how they lived their lives--told in their own words in the BEHIND THESE MOUNTAINS trilogy, from the 1860s to the early 1930s. The indexed names will be published here frequently, along with an excerpt and a historical photograph if available. ** Scroll Archives at right.

Order Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II & III [.pdf editions on DVD] via email to mtscribbler [at] air-pipe [dot] com OR email: ooslegman [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thank you ~~ Mona Leeson Vanek ~aka~Montana Scribbler

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Montana Miners: Settlers of Sanders County Montana: Vignette Vol. 3 No.5

Vignette Vol. 3 No.5

1920. Excerpt -- Bull River Valley: Montana Mining was well known to be a rough and tough game that wasn't always peaceful. It wasn't unusual for skullduggery to occur that went unnoticed by local and regional newspapers. Some local happenings made the news, but most didn't.

One such case occurred during the years King and Lowry were prospecting in Sanders County on the East Fork of Bull River, below St. Paul Lake. When King and Moore from Kalispell owned the mine, Pat Moran mined with King. Tom Moran was the prospector who lived in the basin that bears his name–Moran Basin.

St. Paul Peak, Chicago Peak and Milwaukee  Pass, Copper Gulch, Last Chance Prospect, and Bull River Valley.

During the fall of 1920, King and Lowry were prospecting on the East Fork of Bull River, high in the mountains below spectacular St. Paul Peak. Others were also prospecting on Milwaukee Pass below St. Paul Peak. In Copper Gulch, below nearby Chicago Peak, at the Last Chance Prospect, copper and silver were assaying pretty high.

Frank Berray told of one summer-day tragedy in a prospecting tunnel on the East Fork of Bull River.

"I think his name was Moran, but I'm not sure. Now they don't know whether someone short-fused him or whether he short-fused himself. They always did their blasting at noon. They'd set five blasts and only four went off. He was out of the mine. Maybe it was long-fused. Anyway, he went back in to see why it [the dynamite charge] didn't go off. Then it did.
"When he was blowed [sic] up King took him and laid him out on the ore dump. And then they come for help but the trail got afire.

"The folks noticed the trail afire and when King come down they asked him why he set the trail afire. Well, he said he just accidentally set it afire. So they couldn't get up there. King told them that the boy was dead.

"It was about four days before we got in there on account of that fire. I, and a fella named Jace Edwards, and my dad, Caspar 'Cap' Berray, went up there and packed him out. When we got up there to get him of course he'd laid out there and he was in pretty bad shape. His whole face was blowed [sic] full of rock.

"We wrapped him [his body] in canvas and put him on the pack horse."

Visit: Five Star Review

[Resource is also available free online @ Behind These Mountains, Volume III ]

PDF copies of  "Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II & III" are available on a DVD - $50 S&H included, plus author's permission to print or have printed buyers personal copy of each of the approximately 1200 page books which contain about 1,000 photographs from homesteaders personal albums.

Order here:
Mona Leeson Vanek
13505 E Broadway Ave., Apt. 243
Spokane Valley, WA 99216


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