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Musselshell Mining Company

Mine to Mine

Tags: gold mining
Series: Mine to Mine

The Musselshell Mine was a hydraulic placer mine on Musselshell Creek in what is now Clearwater County, Idaho. Charles McClintock of Detroit, Michigan and John McClintock of Lexington, Kentucky established the mine in 1900 with Louis C. Roberts as manager and director of mining operations. One year later, the mine was still unprofitable and so the McClintock brothers hired Lafayette Russell Parsons, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with a working knowledge of geology and chemistry, to manage the business. They finally suspended mining operations in 1907 due to low-grade ore, insufficient water pressure for hydraulic mining, and a shortage of operating capital.

Musselshell Meadows
Musselshell Meadows

Hydraulic placer mining uses high-pressure jets of water to loosen and dislodge rock and sediment to expose gold. An example of hydraulic placer mining is below.

Hydraulic placer mining
Hydraulic placer mining


Above: PG 13-5582 (A.B. Curtis Collection), Musselshell Meadows from Browns Mountain, no date.

Below: MG 8_3-50-4 (George Laird Shoup Papers), Hydraulic placer mining using gravity pressure, near Salmon, ID, 1895.

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