NAME: Barker - hughesville
COUNTY: Judith basin
CLIMATE: Hot Summers/Heavy Snow in Winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late Spring -Late Fall
COMMENTS: Located in little Belt Mountains, 20 miles east of Monarch. Still a few year round residents, together with several vacation cottages
REMAINS: St. Joseph's Co.'s mining buildings are on private property, but can be visited. Several old cabin remains are still standing.
Patrick Hughes & Elias 'Buck' Barker dicovered silver/lead ores in Little Belt Mountains on October 20, 1879. Towns of Hugheville and Barker sprang up two miles apart. Because of remoteness and poor roads, area didn't develope until Great Northern built a spur line from Monarch in 1891. Population mushroomed to over 500, with numerous mines producing. The silver crash of 1893 almost killed the towns. By 1904 only one family remained, R.R, tracks torn up. As price of silver increased, and lead became a marketable commodity, mines reopened. By 1929, population back up to 500, R.R. relaid....then came stock market crash. Minor resurgence in early 1940's, final closures in 1943. School closed in 1953. Submitted by: Terry Halden