Like many of Montana’s ghost towns, Glendale, Montana, was once a thriving mining community of nearly 2,000 individuals. Today, you will find little more than the remnants of a colorful past. Glendale is located about 5 miles west of the Big Hole River near Melrose.
Glendale was the home of the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company, dating back to 1872. In early records and newspapers, you will find reference to the “Hecla Mining District,” the “Trapper District,” and the “Bryant Mining District,” all of which are one in the same. This district held four towns on the side of Lion Mountain: Trapper City, Lion City, Glendale and Hecla. Glendale was considered the most civilized of the four and boasted the “Montana Brewery” and a general merchandise store. The discoveries of the Hecla District would become one of the leading silver producing mines of the west.
In 1875, a 40-ton smelter was built, producing nearly one million ounces of silver and thousands of tons of lead and copper annually. Unfortunately, the district was hit hard when the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed in 1893. Though mining continued, it was on a much smaller scale, and in 1900 the Glendale Smelter was torn down. By 1915, all mining operations in the district had ceased.
Today all that remains of Glendale is the smelter stack and a few dilapidated buildings. The old beehive charcoal kilns are located just five miles beyond Glendale along the Canyon Creek Road.
The district can be reached from I-15 near Melrose at Exit 93 on Trapper Creek Road.