This is Leon from Netherlands, he found this old gold mine close by our
property. We believe it was one of the mines dug by the Chinese miners. Leon found this
while he was searching for Crandall's hidden gold!
In the early days there were a lot of prospectors that
came to this area to find their fortune. Crandall Creek was named after Jack
Crandall (a prospector who was found murdered in his camp). Jack spent
time prospecting in the Crevice Gulch area in 1867-69 (present-day
Yellowstone) with a party of about 12 miners. The area proved not to be very
lucrative so Jack and Findley decided to head out on their own and explore
the present day Crandall Creek area east of the Park. Before they left the
other Miners decided it was time to move on also and they all decided they
would meet up in a couple weeks at the head waters of the Clarks Fork River
(Cooke Pass, Montana area).
two different scenarios on what happened to Jack, the first one is what is
recorded but the locals tell a different story.
On July 1, 1870, Jack Crandall and his partner, T. Dougherty (aka
Findley), were on their way to rendezvous with some miner friends on the
headwaters of the Clarks Fork River. The two men made camp on Crandall Creek
and, as they prepared their evening meal, were killed by a marauding band of
Indians. A week later when Jack and Findley didn't show at the rendezvous point with the
other miners they concluded that something had happened to them. One of the
miners concerned named Bottler decided to set out to look for them and what
he found was truly horrible. Killed by Crow Indians (the Crows did not
like white men that disturbed their ground!), the two men's heads had
been cut off and stuck on the points of their picks with the other
point stuck into the ground. Their tin cups had been placed in front of
their heads, apparently to tell others that the two had been surprised while
eating, their headless bodies lay nearby. Animals had eaten the flesh from
their bones but Crandall was recognizable by his teeth-he wore a plate-and
by his long black beard. Bottler's party buried the two, but the coyotes
kept digging up their bones, so in the fall of 1871, Jim Gourley and Bill
Cameron buried them again this time piling rocks onto the graves and marking
them with pine headboards.
Adam Miller stated that later he was riding across the
Crow Reservation when he saw an Indian wearing a "plug hat" that he knew to
be Dougherty's. The sight gave Miller "an itchy trigger finger", but he did
not dare to shoot the Indian on the reservation.
After leaving the Crevice Gulch area Jack and Findley headed to a trading
post to stock up on supplies. They paid for their supplies with gold. Jack
was well known by the local miners and they all assumed he had a pretty good
stash hidden away up there in the hills. The belief is that a couple of the
not so fortunate miners followed them back to where they where camped along
the present day Crandall Creek. When Jack and Findley would not give up
their gold the miners killed them and left the scene to look like
Indians had killed them.
The grave of these men is marked by a huge boulder on which is a large
bronze plate giving a brief history of the incident. It is located on the
north side of Crandall Creek, about three-fourths of a mile upstream from
the Crandall Creek bridge, on the Sunlight-Crandall Road.
It is said that at one time there was a mining camp at the
confluent of the Clarks Fork River and Crandall Creek with over 300 Chinese
John F. Curl, Adam Horn Miller and Joe Brown