History You Ride Through

Copper City Trails is located just outside of Three Forks Montana. The history of mining in the area dates back to 1300 BC where the peoples of Pelican Lake mined for chert. By the late 1800’s early settlers to Gallatin County recognized colors in the rock outcroppings and found gold in a massive boulder of copper quartz. After digging directly beneath the boulder, the shaft yielded several mining car loads of high grade ore, causing considerable interest from several mining companies. The newcomers staked out a number of mines and got to work.

Through the 1880’s, mining companies dwindled with little success. In 1889, a number of the claims were purchase by one of the leading capitalists in the area. Local residents speculated that a smelter would be built near Three Forks and the town would be chosen as the state capitol, but when the financial crisis of 1893 hit, a number of the mining companies took a turn for the worse. Nearing the turn of the century, the mining in Copper City continued to decline for various reasons as the town of Three Forks flourished.


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