Fremont County, Iowa

Pioneer Stories

Montana Gold Fields

Source: Shenandoah Sentinel, May 15, 1954
Shenandoah, Iowa

In Years Gone By: Ninety Years Ago, May 16, 1864

Most all of the neighbors on Walnut Creek, in Fremont County, Iowa were gathered at the Chambers' farm, on the West side of Singleton's Grove. Gathered to bid good-bye to the boys going to the mines in Virginia City, Montana.

Our outfit consisted of 4 wagons, 28 oxen, 2 cows, 1 riding animal, and equipment and supplies for one year. Also guns, revolvers, and ammunition to ensure an equal chance wherever the trail led.

Our teams were mostly steers just in the breaking stage. By ten o'clock, everything was ready, and with tears, and wringing hands, the memorial party with voices of friends and family trembling, bid the good wishes for our safe journey, good luck in the mines, and a safe return to our loved ones.

On September 13, 1864 our teams drove into Alder Gulch, our destination was reached in 120 days safe over the long trail. There were at that time about 15,000 people in Alder Gulch, and gold, gold, gold, pans full of gold.

Source: Submitted by Danette Hein-Snider

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