Granite in its heyday (around 1898)
In 1890, the "Silver Queen" was in her glory. More than 3,000 miners, merchants and families made the city their home. This region was one of the richest silver producers in the United States.
Ranking eleventh in size of Montana cities, Granite was part of Deer Lodge County until 1893 when Granite County was incorporated. The once bustling town is now quiet. The schools, churches, saloons, stores, lodge halls, boarding houses, bath house, restaurants and private homes are gone.
In 1879 Charles McLure found a piece of high grade "Ruby" silver ore in the tailing dump of the Granite Mine shaft. This sample assayed at 2,000 ounces to the ton. McLure was a man of confidence and vision. He was convinced he had found the source of unsurpassed riches. He purchased a lease and option on the claim for $30,000.
In 1880 McLure travelled to St. Louis and interested some Hope Mining Co. directors and his brother-in-law to form a syndicate of investors to develop the claim. McLure and the investors formed the St. Louis & Montana Mining Co. and invested $130,000 into the project.
Difficulties plagued McLure from the start and for many months there were no results to report to St. Louis. The home office gave order to cease all work in the mine. The cessation order from St. Louis was held up by a blizzard for one or two days and in that time the rich lode of Granite Mountain ore was discovered. The boom was on.
In the next ten years records show that Granite Mountain paid over $100,000 a month, in dividends, to investors and total production ran to $33 million in silver from the Granite Mountain and around $12 million from the Bi-Metallic Mine nearby.
The two story Miners Union Hall