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Rimini, Montana

The Montana ghost town of Rimini, pronounced (Rim-uh-nee) lies between Helena and McDonald Pass off Highway 12.  Rimini is on Tenmile Creek with Red Mountain on the east and Lee Mountain on the west.  It was established when silver lodes were discovered in 1864. By the 1800’s rail connections took the ore to Wickes for processing and later to East Helena. By 1958 the Rimini Mining District produced close to $10 million in silver, lead, gold, and copper.

The town and the mining district were named for Francesca da Rimini, a character in the opera Dante’s Inferno, which was popular in nearby Helena at the time or may have been named after a city on the coast of Italy.   It is probably the oldest lead-zinc camp in Montana.  It was established when silver lodes were discovered in 1864.  Rimini served about one hundred mines in the surrounding areas.

One of the uses of Camp Rimini was to train military dog sled mushers for use in WWII. These men rescued military flight crews who were downed in extreme snow and ice conditions.  Between 1942-1944, 263 sled dogs and 268 pack dogs were trained .   At its peak in 1890, Rimini’s population was about 300 people. The town had “several hotels and stores, a school, saloons, gambling houses and pool halls, livery stable, physician’s office, church, several boarding houses, and a sawmill.”  As of 2012, there are only “a few full time residents”.  Several cabins modified from half century old structures are occupied during the summer months.

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Some of the above content courtesy of Wikipedia