NAME: Bear Creek
COUNTY: Carbon
CLIMATE: Snow and icey in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring, summer and fall

COMMENTS: This town more or less folded in the early 40's due to a coal mine disaster. There are a lot of mine shafts still there. There are a few people that have built houses there now, but a lot of old foundations still exist. The road is paved into Bear Creek itself, but roads to the mines are not. The road continues into Red Lodge, 2 or 3 miles away, but the grade is quite steep and gets icey. Bear Creek has snow pack and ice on the pavement that goes thru it.

Most of the old structures were demolished to make room for the new homes in development as of September 2002. The small town is primarely a bedroom Town for Red Lodge and Belfry. Located in between Red Lodge and Belfry. The town is sign posted.
REMAINS: Some residents. There isn't much left now. The Town's historical marker stands near the foundations of the old Hotel.

Bear Creek has a very small post office. It was a town of 2,000 when it had coal mining. Submitted by: Norma Jean Anderson

I don't remember much of this villages history. It was a popular road stop, because it had a convinient Hotel, Post office and General store. Much like today it was used as a home setteling village for near by towns like Red Lodge and also Washoe mining camp (now also a ghost town). Bear Creek lost it's popularity during WW2, and economically failed shortly after. I would encourage people to reaserch Bear Creek's history further.
-Ryan Hill

The following is from the Bearcreek historical sign.

Platted in 1905 by George Lamport and Robert Leavens, Bearcreek was the center of an extensive underground coal mining district. At its height during World War 1, Bearcreek boasted a population of nearly 2,000 people. The community was ethnically diverse and included Serbians, Scotsmen, Montenegrans, Germans, Italians and Americans. They were served by seven mercantiles, a bank, two hotels, two billiard halls, a brickyard and numerous saloons. The town also boasted concrete sidewalks and an extensive water system. No church was ever built in Bearcreek. Foundations of many of the towns buildings, in addition to some structures themselves, consisted of sandstone quarried in the nearby hill. The local railway, the Montana Wyoming and Southern carried coal from the mines through Bearcreek where it was shipped to communities across Montana. The Lamport Hotel was once located on the foundation to the right of this marker. Built in 1907, it was described as "well furnished...the beds being especially soft and sleep producing. (The) meals are served with a desire to please the guest and no one leaves without a good impression and kindly feelings for the management." The hotel was razed about 1945. In 1943, Montana's worst coal mining disaster at the nearby Smith mine took the lives of 74 men, many of whom lived in Bearcreek. The tragedy hastened the decline of the town. Many buildings in Bearcreek were moved to other communities or demolished, leaving haunting reminders of their presence along Main street. The railroad tracks were removed in 1953 and the last mine closed in the 1970's.

Bearcreek historical sign 9/3/2009
Courtesy Russell Beere