Friday, February 27, 2015

Location of Emmetsburg

The principal settlement for the placer miners of Henderson Gulch (where it seems likely the first gold panning in Montana took place) was known as Emmetsburg.  The location has faded somewhat from historical memory as no buildings have survived and most of the site was used for dams and ponds related to placer mining in the mid-20th century. Below is the Original Survey plat of the township from 1871 showing the town of "Henderson" which was an alternative name for Emmetsburg.  It was located where the first ditch built for placer mining in the district discharged into Henderson Gulch,  so this is where the first substantial mining in the gulch took place. It is most likely that mining started on the best ground so the town is probably near what was originally the richest part of the placer.   The survey notes for the western boundary of the township state that "Henderson, or Emmetsburg as it is now usually called, is a thriving little mining camp composed of one store, a saloon, and several houses. Henderson Gulch, in which the camp is situated, was formerly quite rich in gold, and is now worked to a considerable extent by Chinamen."