German Gulch Chinese

Beginning in the 1980s, archaeologists with the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest began to investigate German Gulch as there was a resurgence of mining in the area. Excavations by GCM Inc., a private archaeology company, in the 1980s and 1990s uncovered thousands of artifacts relating to both the Euro-American and Chinese occupation of German Gulch. Artifacts included Chinese ceramics and food, firearms, and a diverse variety of bottle glass and personal items. These items provide archaeologists an important window into the past and help us understand how these miners lived and worked in German Gulch.

Please follow the link below to learn more on the archaeology of German Gulch through a website created with the financial assistance of Montana Humanities.

In 2010, volunteers with the United States Forest Service's Passport in Time (PIT) program assisted University of Montana researcher Bill Norman re-process the several thousand artifacts recovered from the German Gulch site. Over the last two decades the collection had fallen into disarray, and volunteers accomplished re-bagging, tagging, cleaning, and cataloging all of the artifacts within a single week PIT project. Without the assistance of these volunteers nothing could have been accomplished.


Intrepid Volunteers (L to R): Bill Norman, Sharon Attebery, Dana Flatter, Chris Merritt, Dale Fears, Sarah Werner, Bill Lindsey, Kermit Edmonds, Jim Fears (Mary Williams & Gene Grifo not pictured)