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Before the township was platted the all-male population had began to build rough hand hewed cabins and tent camp shelters along the Soda Butte Creek and mountain slopes. The high expectations of a “strike” led to partnerships and camaraderie but in some cases claim-jumping, fights and even murder occurred. This newly discovered wilderness was rough and so too was the daily life of the early miners. Old time miner stories indicate that in 1884 there were few females in the mining camp. The male citizenship began to feel the need for permanent “lace” in their lives. Their gentle touch, encouragements and fortitude brought the first shimmer of civilization to the slopes of these beautiful mountains.

Drawings by Kelly Hartman

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