Monday, August 13, 2012


John Caplice discovered a rich vein in 1864 and soon local mines drew a solid population to this area. The early settlement, first known as Young Ireland, lay nestled in the shadow of Red Mountain’s soaring 8,800-foot peak. In 1884, citizens petitioned for a post office, requesting the name of the town as Lee Mountain after the town’s most important mine. But Territorial Governor Schuyler Crosby informed the delegation that the post office was not inclined to approve names of towns that had more than one word. The governor had just seen a production of the play Francesca da Rimini at Helena’s Ming Opera House and loved it. He suggested the name Rimini, pronounced RIM-i-nee, after the Italian town of that name. But Irish miners assumed the name was Irish because Irishman Richard Barrett played the lead role. The post office was approved, but miners changed the pronunciation to RIM-in-eye and it stuck.

Rimini, c. 1924
Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives, 950-606
Rimini boomed as the Northern Pacific Railroad’s Rimini–Red Mountain branch line hauled gold, silver, lead, and zinc ore to the smelter at East Helena. Local mines generated some 7 million dollars. The Hotel Rimini served delectable meals, and visitors from far-away places strolled along the main street. But mining waned, the post office closed in 1916, and train traffic ended in 1925. Mining remnants lie scattered everywhere. From 1942 to 1944 during World War II, remote Rimini was the U.S. Army’s War Dog Reception and Training Center where dogsled teams trained for search and rescue. Then the town became quiet. Today picturesque Rimini is a patchwork of time periods and home to a handful of residents.

From More Montana Moments
P.S. Remember how this mining town got its curious name?


  1. Indeed, my friend told me about this place and I really got interested because it is very beautiful. I decide to look and search this place on the internet. Your article gives a lot of information about thishotel rimini and I learned a lot. Thank you for this.

  2. And you known the italian city, called RIMINI ??

  3. How populated was this place at its peak?

  4. Hi Ellen,
    Do you have any idea where to locate maps of the Rimini / Scott Reservoir / Red Mountain area from around 1900 showing wagon trails / roads in the area?

  5. Hey! I live in Rimini... but in Italy! xD