Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Cultural Heritage Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Kelly Dixon

Commitee Members

C. Milo McLeod, Richard Sattler


Chinese, overseas


University of Montana


Ryan, Jennifer A., M.A. December 2006 Anthropology Abstract of Initial Investigations of Possible Historic Chinese Habitation of Site 24SA2122 (Poacher Gulch) Chair: Dr. Kelly Dixon Site 24SA0122 is composed of a historic cabin footprint, road, trail, and masonry terraces. It is located in Poacher Gulch, a narrow North East trending drainage in Western Montana. The focus of this work has been on researching the masonry locus, and attempting to sift facts from scant documentary evidence about the area in order to create a National Register of Historic Places nomination for this site. The site is very similar to known Overseas Chinese gardening and mining loci in Idaho (Fee 1991). Archeological explorations undertaken by a joint team of Passport in Time volunteers from the Lolo National Forest and students from the University of Montana in the fall of 2006 were inconclusive. Future study of the area is planned for 2007, again as a joint venture between the University of Montana and the Lolo National Forest. Research goals included determining who inhabited the site, what it was used for, and creating a chronology of use for the Poacher Gulch Area. Investigations are still ongoing, but currently a rich folklore of Chinese in the area, combined with the strong visual similarity of the masonry locus to Idaho’s Chinese Gardens, makes it possible to infer that the site’s builders may have been Chinese. This work summarizes archeological and historical investigations undertaken at this site in 2005 and 2006.



© Copyright 2006 Jennifer A. Childress