Immigrant Laborers

Immigrants to Montana were involved in a wide range of professions. Many immigrants worked as miners, ranchers, and farmers, while others were business owners of various varieties. Although some immigrants, such as mine owner Thomas Cruse, held rather lucrative positions, many more performed very labor intensive work at lower wages.  Below is a photo of a Cruse-owned mine and a sign from the Montana Mining Company, which Cruse owned until 1882.


Ole Bodin worked as a lumberjack in western Washington before moving to Quartz Creek near Superior, Montana to mine gold with three Finns he befriended earlier in life. The following excerpt from Ole Bodin's oral history recounts the fate of his friends after Bodin left the operation to do road construction around Superior.  The photo featured is of a gold mining operation on Quartz Creek.