Saturday, October 17, 2015
Discovery of Sapphires at Rock Creek
General references tend to be silent as to who discovered sapphires along the West Fork of Rock Creek. Elsewhere in this blog we credit Emil Meyer the discovery, citing later newspaper accounts, which even refer to him as the "sapphire king." The principal gulch, now called Sapphire Gulch, was originally called Meyer Gulch (see P. 45 of USGS report). However we are also researching the role of M. H. Bryan, co-publisher of the Philipsburg Mail. In an 1892 account in the Anaconda Standard, Bryan claimed he discovered the sapphire deposits while prospecting for gold along Rock Creek earlier that year. Perhaps so, though no locations for mining claims by either Bryan or Meyer have surfaced in either the Granite or Deer Lodge County courthouses. It seems a large quantity of placer locations in Deer Lodge County have been lost, perhaps in a courthouse fire, according to the clerks in the Office. This is a subject for further research.