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Farlin Ghost Town of the Month

On Christmas Eve, 1875 the Farlin brothers recorded their Indian Queen mine just North of Argenta. This wasn’t the first time one of the brothers had made a claim in this location.  In the 1880’s iron ore was finally dug for processing – the small mining camp of Farlin was born. In 1903, the mine and smelter employed ~ 20 men and grew to ~60.   The mine primarily produced copper.  There was no nearby economical transportation to make mining this area profitable on the large scale.  The first school opened in 1896.  The mines boom years came in 1905 & 1906 when the mining camp boasted about 500 people, a general store, post office and a butcher shop.

During these years the mine produced half a million pounds of copper, 16,000 ounces of silver and 160 ounces of gold!  Needless to say this didn’t go unnoticed.

By the Spring of 1906, the mine was in trouble and the owners skipped town with the monthly payroll.  One of the owners returned to town and was promptly hanged by the miners.  A second owner who wanted to return paid for the privilege and the third owner was never seen again.

Ore quality went down over the years and the mine closed in 1923.  In 1924, the mill was taken down. Today Farlin is a sleepy collection of buildings; all that remains are the school, butchers shop, some cabins and remains of the mine which are managed by the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest.

 

Farlin

 

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Montana Mining Ghost Towns by Barbara Fifer