Zortman, Montana, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 55.060 W 108° 31.549
12T E 684851 N 5310112
Quick Description: Zortman, a tiny hamlet in eastern Montana, appears to be the answer to the question: "How far would you go for a new category?"
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 6/19/2017 5:20:55 AM
Waymark Code: WMW01B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 10

Long Description:
The answer, in our case at least, is 404 kilometres. It transpired that, once we had actually decided to include a jaunt up to Zortman in our present odyssey, it required a side trip of 202 kilometres north from Roundup, Montana to Zortman and back.

Sleepy little Zortman rests quietly in the "Little Rocky Mountains", a small mountain range in east central Montana. Surrounding the range on all sides is wildly (as opposed to mildly) rolling prairie, mostly hosting mustard greens and sage brush, with the odd range cow to be seen here and there.

Zortman itself has no apparent reason for being. At one time a fair amount of gold was taken out of the surrounding hills, but that is long gone. The town can't be considered a supply centre for surrounding cattle ranches as there are no supply outlets, only a bar and cafe, a motel, scattered buildings of various types and sizes and one of the most picturesque Catholic churches one will find. The little wood framed building with a small bell tower and steeple stands atop a hill on the western edge of the hamlet, high above the rest of the buildings. When approaching the town from the east it is the first suggestion of civilization one sees, all alone on a hill, surrounded by forest.

The community of Zortman was named for one of its founders, Oliver "Pete" Zortman, one of the first miners to land in the area. Today the community boasts a population of just 50 residents. See a short history below.

Gold established the community of Zortman. Although gold prospecting took place as early as the late 1860s, it wasn't until approximately 1890 when Pike Landusky and Bob Ormond struck a rich vein that the town of Zortman was born. It was named after Oliver 'Pete' Zortman, who with a partner constructed a mill near Zortman that initiated the extraction of low-grade ore from rock.

In 1936 a destructive wildfire swept through the Little Rockies destroying the majority of the mining operation. It is estimated that the mines at Zortman, Landusky and Beaver Creek produced $125 million in gold before the shut down in 1949.

Zortman's mining revival came around in 1979 but the era of prosperity ended in 1998. At present the mining operation is undergoing a reclamation plan.

Thus, Zortman has once again switched its roles from a bustling prosperous mining town to a quaint and nostalgic village of approximately 60 residents. Historic log cabins and miners' shacks lean between modern buildings and trailers in a mishmash of architecture. A white clapboard church, elegant in its simple design, sits high above the town on grassy mountainside.
Read more at Visit Montana

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