Wild West


As early as 1852 prospectors found gold in what would become Montana Territory, though it was a major 1862 strike by John White and party on Grasshopper Creek, east of the Bitterroot Mountains, that started the true rush (see related story, P. 64). The following year prospectors fanned out from Bannack, on Grasshopper Creek, to richer strikes 50 miles east in Alder Gulch, where Virginia City would be born. In 1864, the year the territory was organized, prospectors discovered gold farther north at Last Chance Gulch, which gave rise to Helena. Gold was behind all three cities, each in turn

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