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Rich ores were found in this area in 1864 by J.A. Kline when he staked the O.K. lode. It wouldn’t be until years later that the lodes were worked. The Farlin brothers recorded their Indian Queen mine on Christmas Eve in 1875 but their Greenwich lode had been discovered by O.D. Farlin several years earlier and left untouched. By the 1880s, the brothers started working their claims, new and old, which produced silver and copper. When the Utah and Northern Railroad laid track into nearby Dillon a few years later, miners began to arrive in the Birch Creek District. Iron ore was mined at the Magnetic Iron mine to be used for fluxing at the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company’s Smelter in Glendale and smelters in Butte. Soon, more accessible ore was found in Soap Gulch near Melrose and the Birch Creek mine was abandoned.
In the late 1890s, the Indian Queen mine was reopened under a series of corporations. During this time the Indian Queen produced half a million pounds of copper and, its share of silver and gold from some 12,000 tons of ore. The boom years in the early 1900s would see the town blossom to 500 people. Farlin became home to a butcher shop, school, general store and post office. Rumor has it that when the owners of the mining company started to struggle in 1906, they skipped town with the payroll. One man tried to return and was promptly hanged by the local miners. With time, the ore quality and quantity declined and the mines and smelter closed for good in 1923.