The Starlight Placer
Beaverhead County, Montana
Beaverhead County, Montana
• Size: 20 acres
• Claim designation: Un-patented Placer
• Location: Beaverhead County, Montana
•Direct purchase discounts available
The Starlight is a Gold producer in the historic Argenta mining district of Southern Montana.
Featuring over 1200' of running creek with exquisite gravel deposits, old stone foundations from a mill and excellent access.
Located on the historic Rattlesnake Creek, within 5 miles of Beaverhead Counties largest Gold nugget ever recovered; a lump weighing in at 40 ounces ($72,000+).
Creek features annual water flow, a width of 7'-12' and a depth of .5' - 3'.
Potential Gold deposits can be located in the gravel deposits, upper bench placers and bedrock crevices.
Primary staging and camping area features a large open space surrounded by brush for seclusion and privacy.
An older wooden bridge connects to the opposite creekside, where an old mill site foundation rests on the hillside.
An excellent location for a high-banking or small dredge operation, with calm water for casual Gold panning.
Upper bench surface workings are located on the northern portion of the mineral property. Cuts range between 4'-11' deep with heavily mineralized soil composition.
Large camping and staging area is located just adjacent to the good conditioned dirt road.
Available parking for multiple vehicles and campers near the fire ring.
While Gold was never the driving force in the district, there were some placers near Argenta.
The men who staked the first lode claims in the district on June 25, 1864 also made the first placer claims on Rattlesnake Creek. However, there is little evidence to show that these men ever developed the placers. They appear to have been claimed as strategies to control the limited water and just in case there were values in the gravel.
In the early 1870s a four mile ditch was dug to bring water to the hydraulic placers across the Rattlesnake Creek from Argenta. The four men working the placer were able to recover $40 per day; later these same placers were reworked by a Chinese miner who was able to recover $3 per day. Remains of these hydraulic operations can be seen just upstream from the Ferdinand Mine (Sassman 1941; Geach 1972; Wolle 1963).
About the same time as the placers were opening up below Argenta on Rattlesnake Creek, new placers were discovered six miles upstream in French Creek. In 1890 placers were also discovered by Charles Watson on Watson Gulch, a tributary of French Creek.
The largest nugget of gold found in Beaverhead County, a lump weighing in at 40 ounces, was found in Watson Gulch in 1894. Additional placer work in 1941, recovered an additional 9 ounces of gold from French and Watson Gulches.\
A number of structures, known as the the Knight cabins, associated with the Watson Gulch placers survived until the late 1980s when they were slated for removal and recorded as a historic site by the Beaverhead National Forest. combine(Geach 1972; Wolle 1963; Ryan 1987).
A perfect mine for the beginning enthusiast up to an established mining company.