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Historic Dirty Socks Jack

20 Acre Placer Claim – Sheridan District – Madison County, Montana

Presenting the Historic Dirty Socks Jack Placer Mining Claim for sale, a 20 Acre Unpatented Placer Mining Claim. The claim is located just outside of Sheridan, Montana and has been properly marked. All claims have been carefully surveyed, mapped and researched. We are selling this for a third party. MT105768347

This is a remote Montana gold mine. Mill Creek which runs through the middle of the claim provides plenty of year round water for all your mining needs. During surveying gold was easily found in the material by panning. The claim boasts excellent access and does get visitors driving through on the road. The claim was originally surveyed and sampled for rich, free gold deposits in the gravels.

Dirty Socks Jack

We estimate the creek bed to be over 600 feet on this claim and there is water year round. It is likely there is some native silver and possibly some relics to be found on the claim but the primary commodity will be gold.

Most likely there has been some work done after 1900 based on the remnants and items seen in the area. It is estimated by the surveyors that the claim has been worked intermittently in the early 1900’s. No effort to mine for many decades is evident. The gold that you will find on this claim has been washing down from the mines, hills and gulches above and depositing and replenishing the gold on this claim.

Dirty Socks Jack

There is direct road access to this claim and room for staging, parking and other operations.

The best gold is on bedrock. Mill Creek is one of the creeks in the district that was mined by hand in the late 1800’s. There is still good gold in the creek, benches and on bedrock on this claim.

The Bureau of Mines has estimated that demonstrated U.S. reserves of gold are 85 million ounces. Approximately one-half of the total resources are estimated to be by-product gold, while 40% of the remaining one-half (56 million ounces) could be mined for gold alone … Most U.S. gold resources are in the nation’s western states. About 80% of the U.S. gold resources are estimated to be in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana and Washington. (Earthsearch, Inc. 1983)

History of the Mines

The Dirty Socks Jack Mine is located in the southwest quarter of section 18. It is the closest claim available to Sheridan on Mill Creek. Dirty Socks Jack claim is about 7100 feet in altitude. Virginia City is the site of the second major gold rush in the Montana Territory and is just a few miles from this claim!

Gold in the Sheridan district was discovered shortly after the gold discovery on Alder Gulch which was the second major gold rush in Montana territory.

While it is sometimes said old mines have been ‘worked out’ as the saying means there is no gold left, the truth is “it is better to say they are worked over; it is also true that the primitive methods used and the wasteful haste to get rich indulged in, left much of the gold in the ground, so that improved methods … will give even better results than those first obtained.” (MBMG Open Report 466)

Montana Gold And Mineral Mines Dirty Socks Jack

Montana is ranked 7th by the USGS for total gold production in the US and has 31 mining districts. Gold production for the 1800’s to 1968 is 17.8 million ounces and large amounts of gold have been mined from 1968 to present. Geologists have predicted that based on the past and the geology of Montana that several large gold and silver deposits will be found and developed in the future.

Details about the Mine:

Access to the Mine You can drive a full size truck to the mine
Tailing Present None. Loose gravels in the creek bed of small pebbles to larger boulders. Boulders are great places for the gold to hide. Benches on both sides of the creek are virgin ground.
Depth / Length Over 600 feet of creek bed gravels. 1320 feet side to side with gold bearing benches.
Minerals in the Mine Historically mined for gold. Minerals of gold, silver, sapphires, black sands with rare earth minerals would be expected.
Foot traffic at the mine Some
Last Worked Unknown

Montana Gold And Mineral Mines Dirty Socks Jack


Number of Mines 1 Placer
Nearest city with amenities Sheridan, approximately 9.75 miles
Access to the Claim A very good dirt road breaks off from the state highway and runs all the way onto the claim.
Parking and Staging on the Claim Claim is situated on open rolling hills that allows for parking of several vehicles if desired.
Resources Year round water, grasses, sage and trees
Structures on claim None
Elevation Aprox. 7100 feet

Additional Photos

Dirty Socks Jack

All the gold flows into the creek from mines above and enters this claim. There are many great gold traps in the creek on this claim.

Dirty Socks Jack

Over 600 feet of creek bed to mine and 20 acres of gold bearing material

Dirty Socks Jack

You won’t find a claim closer to Sheridan on Mill Creek. They just don’t exist.

Dirty Socks Jack

We have sold several other claims on this creek and the buyers have reported they have found good gold!

Dirty Socks Jack

The Sheridan Mining District is organized and they do maintain mining rights. If you buy this claim you too can join the organization.

Dirty Socks Jack

Both the bench and creek bed hold gold and are well worth your efforts.

Dirty Socks Jack

There is plenty of gravel in the creek bed as well as the benches which are virgin ground.

Climate / Weather

USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation Type Placer
Development Status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic


  • Gold- Primary
  • Silver- Primary

Nearby Scientific Data

  • Pre-Belt gneiss, schist, and related rocks


USGS Database – 60000324
Mining District Information

Sheridan District Information

The Sheridan district, in the heart of the Ruby Valley, includes the smaller sub-districts of Wisconsin Creek, Mill Creek, Brandon (near mouth of Mill Creek), Mill Creek (near the upper portion of Mill Creek), Quartz Hill (between Mill and Mill Creeks), and Ramshorn and Bivins gulches (Winchell 1914; Sahinen 1935).
Placer gold was discovered in Ramshorn and Bivins gulches soon after the discovery of gold at Virginia City. Below the forks of Wisconsin Creek, the stream gravels have been worked with hydraulic giants. In the Ramshorn district placering began in the 1860s and continued on the upper stream until the second decade of the Twentieth century (Winchell 1914).
Within a year of the district’s placer discoveries, many gold-bearing quartz veins were located. The Company mine in Williams Gulch, was opened in 1864, the ore being treated locally in stamp mills and arrastras. The Branham mill, for which Mill Creek and the Mill district were named, was crushing ore in 1865. The Whittacker mill was located in the Quartz Hill district in 1869. The 1880’s saw arrastras become the favored mode of ore reduction. Later, during the 1890’s, the ore from some of the mines was treated in stamp and cyanide mills. The most important producers were the Noble, Red Pine, Fairview, Smuggler, and Betsy Baker lodes (Swallow 1891; Winchell 1914; Sahinen 1935).
The district is composed of ore deposits related to underlying or nearby granitic masses, although some are apparently related to dikes. Ore deposits occur as veins (fissure fillings) and as replacements in limestone. The primary minerals are pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, and galena in a gangue of quartz and rarely siderite. Gold and silver occur in the ore (Winchell 1914; Sahinen 1935).
The town of Sheridan, on the Alder branch of the Northern Pacific Railway, is a supply point for several mining districts in the neighboring gulches of the Tobacco Root Mountains. As here used, the Sheridan district includes the Wisconsin district, on Wisconsin Creek; the Indian district, on Indian Creek; the Brandon district, near the mouth of Mill Creek Gulch; the Mill Creek district, covering the upper portion of Mill Creek Gulch; the Quartz Hill district, a knob terminating a ridge between Mill Creek and Indian Creek; the Ramshorn district, along Ramshorn Gulch; and the Bivin district, along Bivin Gulch. As thus defined the Sheridan district extends 10 miles north of Sheridan at the upper end of Wisconsin Creek and 10 miles east of Sheridan at the upper end of Ramshorn Gulch. Except for Bivin Gulch and the lower end of Ramshorn Gulch a triangle made by connecting these two points with Sheridan outlines the area. Elevations in the district vary from about 5,500 feet to more than 10,000 feet above sea level.
The Sheridan district is very close to Alder Gulch, which was one of the first centers of mining activity in Montana. Within a year after the discovery of gold in Alder Gulch in 1863 quartz veins were located in the Sheridan district. The Company mine, on Wisconsin Creek, was opened in 1864; the Branham mill was erected on Mill Creek (which thus obtained its name) in 1865. This mill had 12 stamps of 500 pounds each, and a capacity of 12 tons a day; it was driven by water power at a cost of operation of about $2 a ton. The gold was caught on tables and ‘blankets. In 1869 the Whittacker mill was running in the Quartz Hill district. It had three light stamps and crushed ore yielding $15 to $18 per, ton in gold. During the seventies the favorite mode of treating gold ores was by means of arrastres. About 1883 the Company mine was sold to the Noble Mining & Milling Co., which operated it on a rather large scale for nearly 10 years. The Leiter mine, on Wisconsin Creek, about 8 miles from Sheridan, was equipped with an aerial tramway, stamp mill, and cyanide plant, and was in active operation during the later part of the nineties. During the last decade the most extensive operations in the district have been carried on at the Toledo and Lake Shore properties.
The Sheridan district contains placers that have been productive and are still worked in a few localities.
On Mill Creek mining has been in progress at three localities about the headwaters of the creek, in the region of Quartz Hill between Mill and Indian creeks near Bridges Canyon, and in the foothills just north of the mouth of Mill Creek canyon. About, the headwaters of Mill Creek veins traverse the walls of a glacial amphitheater, the center of which is filled with glacial debris which contains two small lakes. (See PI. V.) The old creek channel is filled with drift to such an extent that the creek now forms a waterfall over solid rock in escaping from the cirque. Mill Creek flows through mica schists and gneiss, interbedded with a few limestone layers, probably referable to the Cherry Creek group, all the way from its sources to the bench lands of the Passamari Valley. About 10 miles from Sheridan these rocks are cut by local intrusions of granite, diorite, and aplite, and at the forks of Mill Creek wide veins of barren quartz occur. The Belle mine is in the northern wall of the glacial cirque at an elevation of about 9,500 feet above sea level. The chief vein, which strikes about N. 20° E. and dips about 45° W., is in gneiss and is closely associated with aplite and with a dike of pegmatitic feldspar that strikes about N. 20° W. and dips about 70° E. The feldspar dike is said to be cut off by the vein, which contains its richest ore where the vein and dike come together! The ore on this property is nearly all auriferous pyrite, showing little evidence of enrichment. A limestone ledge, dipping 35° NW and probably belonging to the Cherry Creek group, extends from the ridge west of the head of Mill Creek nearly to Bridges Canyon, which opens into Mill Creek from the north about 5 miles from Sheridan. The ledge is modified to garnet rock by intrusive underlying granite and aplite and is overlain by schists. Veins occur here and there in the aplite and along the aplite and limestone contact. Near the head of Bridges Canyon the sedimentary series is cut by two intrusives, one of which is a trachyte with phenocrysts of orthoclase showing considerable alteration, and the other the so-called “granite” of the region, which is probably, as in the Boulder batholith, a quartz monzonite. It contains unusually abundant titanite, much zonal plagioclase, orthoclase, hornblende, pyroxene, quartz, and other minerals.
The Sheridan district has yielded a regular production of metal annually since about 1865, and it may be expected to continue productive for many years to come. Unfortunately no statistics of production are now available for the years 1864 (when the Company mine, on Wisconsin Creek, was opened.) to 1904. During a large part of this period the average annual production was probably several times as great as it has been in recent years. Production from 1905-1912: Ore – 10,490 Tons, Gold – 6,907 ozt., Silver – 32,424 ozt., Copper – 17,874 Lbs., Lead – 117,942 Lbs.
In these placer mines were found nuggets of gold which contained more or less of quartz and masses of quartz which contained particles and nuggets of gold.
These placers have been worked for a quarter of a century and they are still giving up their golden treasures to those who continue to work them.
The Stinking Water and its tributaries, the Ruby, Bevins, Wisconsin, Ramshorn, Sheridan, (Mill creek), Goodrich, Georgia and Indian, have extensive placers still awaiting that enterprise and skill which brings improved methods of extracting the gold. On all the streams and gulches above named as containing placers, quartz veins have been discovered from which the ancient glaciers ground the gold deposited by the waters in the placers of bench, bar and river channel. The prospector’s pick and shovel have revealed quartz veins on nearly every hill-side and mountain slope.
The Mill Creek (now Sheridan) mines have long been known as producers. More than twenty years ago the Branham mill was pounding out the free gold from the surface ores …
The output of the Madison County mines for the year 1890 has been estimated at $2,500,000 which is probably too low. It has been difficult to get facts on which to base a full estimate.
Telluride of gold has been found in the mines on Sheridan or Mill Creek. Telluride was thrown out by the early miners as it doesn’t look like gold at all. Search online for the different colors of Telluride gold and you’ll see why it was thrown away. The history of Telluride is interesting in that for years miners tossed this metal away not knowing what it was but thinking it was worthless. Then at Telluride, CO one night a few prospectors built a fire pit with rocks that had visible Telluride. They made their fire that night and cooked a meal. In the morning those visible spot of Telluride were shiny gold spots. The heat burned the Tellurium off the surface of the gold and from then on those once ‘worthless’ nuggets were never thrown away again. As the new owner of this claim when you find a heavy metal object that doesn’t look like gold make sure to keep it and test it. In fact, most people don’t know gold comes in every color of the rainbow. It just depends on what it is alloyed with as to what color the gold will look like. Of course we all are fascinated by the pure gold which is a slightly orange yellow color or even the yellow color of 14k or half gold that most jewelry is made of.




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