SOUTHERN CROSS

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom
1/6

     Tucked in on a mountainside overlooking Georgetown Lake (former mining camp of Georgetown) lies Southern Cross. Possibly named by a sailor for the constellation, Southern Cross was developed in the 1870s although gold was first discovered in 1866. Owner Salton Cameron began to develop the property sending the first ore to East Helena for processing. Cameron then built a stamp mill in 1884 which was almost immediately shut down after proving unsuccessful. The mine switched hands and produced 30,000 tons of ore that was treated in Anaconda.

     In 1906 the property changed hands again and a wet-crushing mill was installed. The Anaconda Copper Mining Company purchased the mine in 1910 and extended their railroad from Brown’s siding to the mine. The mine was estimated to have produced $5 million in precious metals.

     In its heyday the camp reached a population of 500 including many Finnish and Swedish miners. Buildings included boarding houses, stores, a dance hall, saunas, a post office and a school. The Southern Cross mine was active every year between 1909 and 1930 and intermittently until 1940.