Opposite this point a creek flows into the Clark Fork River from the west. In 1852, a French mixed-blood named Francois "Benetsee," Finlay, prospected the creek for placer gold. Although he raised some color, Finlay was ill-equipped to take advantage of his discovery and the mine languished. Several years later, in 1858, brothers James and Granville Stuart, Reece Anderson and Thomas Adams, having heard of Finlay's discovery, prospected the creek. They found enough gold to convince them that there were rich placer mines in Montana. The creek was first called "Benetsee Creek" and afterwards became known as Gold Creek. Rumors of the strike reached disappointed "Pikes Peakers" as well as the backwash of prospectors from California and resulted in an era of prospecting that uncovered the famous placer deposits of Montana.
It was also near here in September, 1883, that Northern Pacific Railway president Henry Villard drove the last spike on the nation's second trans-continental railroad. In addition to hundreds of spectators, the gala event was attended by company officials, President Ulysses S. Grant and Captain John Mullan, who constructed a road along the river in 1860.