Aldridge

Name:

Aldridge

County:

Park

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

45°05’14N 110°45’18W

Elevation:

6,427 ft (1,959 m)

Time Zone:

Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)

Comments:

Aldridge is a ghost town in Park County, Montana. According to the book Ghost Towns of the Montana Prairie, the town was incorporated as Aldridge in 1906 but was earlier named Horr, and later Electric. Aldridge is a mining town that supplied coke and coal to the smelters for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Aldridge is located two miles north of the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Remains:

The Aldridge mines were safe compared to other mines in the area. In the mine’s operation history there was only one recorded accident on the site. According to the Anaconda Standard, on August 2, 1901 Thomas W. Thomas lost his life in the mine. Thomas was killed by an explosion. The cause of the explosion was never determined but could have been caused by explosive gas or an unexploded blast.

Established:

1901

Disestablished:

1910

Current Status:

In 1906, with popular community support, Aldridge absorbed Electric and incorporated. Local newspapers predicted that Aldridge would become one of the most important coal and coke mining camps in the country. Although Aldridge had a bright future, the Montana Coal and Coke Company defaulted in payments of bonds in 1910. The default led to a suit with the company and the bondholders. The bondholders won the suit and the Montana Coal and Coke Company was sentenced to pay over 100,000 dollars. This debt led to the closure of all the mining operations in Aldridge. With the closure of the mines, Aldridge became a ghost town.

Remarks:

In 1901 the Montana Coal and Coke Company was operating at maximum capacity in Aldridge. They employed over 500 men and shipped out over 650 train cars of coke per day. All the coal was mined on the 3,000 acres of land surrounding Aldridge, but in August 1904 the miners went on strike. This strike lasted a year and crippled the local economy. The company recovered but never returned to its past glory. Prior to 1904, an electric plant was built in Horr to supply the Montana Coal and Coke Company’s mines and businesses with electricity. In 1904, Horr was renamed Electric because of the power plant built on the town site. With no mines operating in Electric, its economy survived by transporting coke to the smelters from its railhead.