The History of Slippery Gulch is not a part of the Jake Winters series but is related to it. The ghost town throughout the series is Slippery Gulch.
There are hundreds of ghost towns throughout the west. Montana has its fair share. Their location and history can be found easily except for one – Slippery Gulch.
I’d never heard of Slippery Gulch before. At the time, I was searching for a topic for my Masters thesis on Montana history. Now I had it and started my research.
I found Slippery Gulch to be a mysterious and elusive place. Most people had never heard of it and those that did, didn’t seem to know where it was; plus it was described as everything from a mining town to a lumber town.People claimed Slippery Gulch was abandoned for an array of reasons — some of them being downright strange, but again no one seemed to know for sure.
As I went on with my investigation I wasn’t sure it even existed. After weeks of discouraging interviews, I got a break. I learned the name of the county it might be in. The person that gave me that information was right. I dug up a historical report on the town in the County Hall. I also learned the names of some wonderful people that had once lived there.
My big question was answered – Slippery Gulch did exist, but I still didn’t know how to get to it. I also ended up with more questions than I had started with. For instance, at the end of June 1901, Slippery Gulch was a thriving mining town. By the end of July 1901 the entire population had left. Why?On June 30, 1901 there were two murders in town. One was the owner of the mine and the other was a six-year-old homeless boy. In the historical report, the importance of the boy’s death overshadowed the death of the mine owner. Why?
Slippery Gulch does not appear on any maps of Montana ghost towns. Why?
Few of the former residents of Slippery Gulch were willing to talk to me. Why? Of those that did, none were willing to divulge the location of the town. Why? (One finally did but only after I promised never to release that information to anyone verbally or in print. I haven’t and I won’t.)
As you read through this book you will learn the answers to these questions and many more. But you will not learn the true location of Slippery Gulch. Ronald Douglas Durban, 1956