Elkhorn, Montana

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Elkhorn
Ghost town
The Fraternity Hall
The Fraternity Hall
Elkhorn is located in Montana
Elkhorn
Elkhorn
Location of Elkhorn in Montana
Coordinates: 46°16′29″N 111°56′45″W / 46.27472°N 111.94583°W / 46.27472; -111.94583Coordinates: 46°16′29″N 111°56′45″W / 46.27472°N 111.94583°W / 46.27472; -111.94583[1]
Country United States
State Montana
County Jefferson
Established 1872
Abandoned 1970s
Named for Elkhorn Mountains
Elevation 6,443 ft (1,964 m)

Elkhorn is a small ghost town in Jefferson County, Montana, United States, in the Elkhorn Mountains of the southwestern part of the state.

History[edit]

Lodes of silver, described by geologists as Supergene enrichments, were initially discovered in the Elkhorn mountains by Peter Wys, a Swiss immigrant.[2] Six years later, Anton Holter, a pioneer capitalist from Helena, Montana, began developing the mine. Over $14 million in silver was carried from the mine. In 1890, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act passed, creating a high demand for Elkhorn's silver.

During this peak period, Elkhorn boasted 2,500 inhabitants, a school, hotel, church, stores, saloons, and brothels. Unlike most mining towns, Elkhorn was populated mostly by married European immigrants.[3] In 1893 the Fraternity Hall was constructed for social gatherings, and still remains as one of the most well-preserved buildings in modern Elkhorn.

In the years following, the silver boom and Elkhorn's prosperity began to lessen as the desire for silver decreased. A diphtheria epidemic also struck Elkhorn in the winter of 1888-1889, resulting in many deaths, particularly of children.[3][4] Soon after, railroad service to Elkhorn was halted and only a fraction of the original inhabitants remained.

Geography[edit]

It can only be reached through its neighboring town, Boulder, Montana by taking the I-15 at Boulder exit, continuing 7 miles (11 km) south on Montana 69, then 11 miles (18 km) north on county graveled road.

Demographics[edit]

While very few standing buildings remain of the original Elkhorn, a number of cabins have been reoccupied and refurbished.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Elkhorn". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Elkhorn, MT". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  3. ^ a b "The Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society-Elkhorn". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  4. ^ "Elkhorn, Montana Survives Today". Legends of America: Montana Legends. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 

External links[edit]