Elkhorn, Montana facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Elkhorn
Ghost town
The Fraternity Hall
The Fraternity Hall
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 and a CDP in Jefferson County, Montana, United States, in the Elkhorn Mountains of the southwestern part of the state.

Elkhorn is also a Montana State Park.

History

Lodes of silver, described by geologists as supergene enrichments, were initially discovered in the Elkhorn mountains by Peter Wys, a Swiss immigrant. 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 had 2,500 inhabitants, a school, a hotel, a church, stores and saloons. Unlike most mining towns, Elkhorn was populated mostly by married European immigrants. 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. Soon after, railroad service to Elkhorn was halted and only a fraction of the original inhabitants remained.

Geography

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

While very few standing buildings remain of the original Elkhorn, a number of cabins have been reoccupied and refurbished. In 2010, there were 10 inhabitants.


Elkhorn, Montana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.