New Year, Montana

New Year History

The New Year mine, located about 4 miles WSW of Maiden, was discovered in the early 1880s but little done with it until the late 1890s. A modern cyanide plant was built and later upgraded. (It operated very little and was dismantled by the 1920s.) The mine was about a mile up the mountain from the mill and the community of New Year.

Ore was first hauled down in wagons and later an aerial tram was built. A significant amount of development work was done and a little ore mined. Production amounted to only a few hundred ounces of gold.

The community of New Year didn't amount to much - no merchants or saloons that I am aware of - however, it had a small school and post office.

Interestingly, a coal seam was developed right behind the mill and used to fuel the boilers.

Group in the New Year Cave
Group in the New Year Cave

What the New Year mine lays fame to is a fairly significant natural cave system that the miners blasted into while driving drift. The BLM now owns the ground and there is talk of someday developing a tourist trap there.

Text and photos courtesy of Jerry Hanley