Gold Creek, Montana

The second google result for Gold Creek, Montana directs you to a page for the town. The third result indicates that the town had a population of 35 in 1939.

Yesterday the one room school house in Gold Creek was featured as part of the series on one room school houses on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Gold Creek, Mont., has no stores, gas stations or bars, and its one church is closed. But it is rich in grazing land, and it still has a one-room school.

It’s a tiny community in Powell County, on the western slope of the continental divide, once famous as the first place gold was discovered in Montana 150 years ago. And near here, in 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad completed its east-to-west connection.

But, like much of the state, Powell County has seen economic boom and bust. The mining and cattle ranching that once made it prosperous no longer sustain its people.

Today Gold Creek is one of several small communities in the county that’s struggling to hold itself together. Jobs are scarce and young people are leaving the county to find work.

At Gold Creek School last spring, teacher Kim Tozzi had six students, in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Tozzi had come to Gold Creek from large urban and suburban schools in Las Vegas, Kansas City and Salt Lake City…

Read more, see pictures and listen to the feature story here. The rest of the series is here. The series continues through June.

My parents taught in a two room school house in Galata, Montana in the 1970s. The school is still open, and I visited it on this trip.