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Drumlummon Mine

In 1856, twenty-year old Thomas 'Tommy' Cruse immigrated to America from his Irish homeland.

Train Trestle in Marysville

He lived in a small parish called Drum Lummon. Within a few years, he caught the American 'gold fever' and moved from New York to the west coast to find his riches. By 1867, Tommy ended up at Silver Creek, six miles northeast of what is now Marysville. It is there that he met a Swedish immigrant named William Brown, and began a friendship which will last a lifetime.

Whether it was out of sympathy or a sincere wish to help this poor immigrant, William gave Tommy one of his five valued 'placer mines'. He was hopeful he could get him started and stay in the area. Tommy accepted the generous offer and began to work his area in earnest. In time, he began to ponder the quartz encrusting the gold nuggets in his sifting pan. He soon was convinced that he was near a real mother load... his dreamed-about treasure. Excitedly, Tommy told William about his speculation and tried to persuade his friend to go with him to find the riches. To his dismay, his friend wanted to maintain his meager 'placer mines', but wished him well.

Alone, Cruse began his short quest along the riverbed and in 1868 found the quartz. It was on the side of a mountain and spilled into a ravine. For years, he worked the quartz mine for what he prayed would soon become gold. The ore was there, he knew it. He was plagued by flooding, but continued to dig his tunnel into the mountain, even at the scoffs of other miners disbelief in his logic.

In the process of digging a 500-foot tunnel through the mostly granite mountainside, Tommy Cruse discovered the rich ledge of gold in 1876, which was soon to be called Drumlummon Mine. The discovery was of a vein of immense wealth. Although there are stories discounting his rights to the claim, he did record the deed and maintained ownership. Naming it in honor of his hometown, Drumlummon Mine would prove to be one of the highest producing high-grade gold ore mills in the area.

As word of the discovery spread through the area, hundreds, if not thousands flocked to the area. By accounts of the time, Cruse soon named the blossoming mining camp after Mary Ralston, the first woman believed to have arrived in the area.

By 1880, the mine was producing its first ore. Soon it had become a 5-stamp mill. This was small for the amount of gold estimated to be buried there, but Tommy continued to operate the mine mostly by himself. The long dreamed about treasure didn't generate a lot of money; but the potential was still there. So much so, that in 1883, he sold all but one-sixth of the mine to the Montana Company, LTD. His 'Gold Mine' turned into a 1.6 million dollar prize, and he even managed to hold on to part of it.

Drum Lummon Mill

It was during the management by this company, that the mine saw its greatest success. In 1884, a new 50-stamp mill was constructed and the operations continued until 1889. Soon, a feud developed between the St. Louis and Montana Companies, concerning a dispute in mining rights. It continued for the next eighteen years, with the St. Louis Company eventually being awarded ownership of the Drumlummon Mine. By that time, most of the highest quality ore had already been removed. Many problems; such as, flooding and collapse, plagued mining operations and caused the mine to be eventually abandoned. It has been estimated that $50,000,000 worth of gold has been removed from the original Tommy Cruse Mine.

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Marysville History Drumlummon Mine Lewis and Clark in the Area
Marysville History Drumlummon Mine Lewis and Clark in the Area