Montana May 14, 2017
Your Summer Plans Need To Include This Montana Town… And Here’s Why
There’s no summer quite like a Montana summer, and most Montanans start making their warm weather plans before the snow has even melted (long before in some cases.. it is Montana, after all).
Summer is tourist season in the Treasure State, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great time to get out and explore. In fact, summer is the perfect season to visit the charming ghost town of Virginia City.
For those not familiar, Virginia City has been around since 1863.
Founded as a gold mining community, it didn't take long for this town to boom. Although Bannack was the first territorial capital, Virginia City actually holds the title of the first Montana state capital.
Early life in Virginia City was never boring. A group of vigilantes called road agents robbed and murdered quite a few people traveling to and from Bannack, ultimately resulting in the hanging of their alleged leader, Henry Plummer.
By 1875, mining activity in the Alder Gulch had greatly diminished, as had the area’s population. Virginia City eventually became a ghost town. In the 1940s, Charles and Sue Bovey began buying the town, putting much needed maintenance into failing structures. It has been a tourist destination since the 1950s.
Now managed by the Montana Heritage Commission, the state has done a great job of restoring and maintaining the buildings and thousands of artifacts. Private donors have also helped.
The result is this nearly perfectly preserved piece of the past.
There's never a bad time to visit this National Historic Landmark, but summers here are especially magical.
For starters, the warm weather makes walking around the city infinitely more pleasant.
You can take the Alder Gulch Railway from Virginia City to the neighboring Nevada City and back.
A round trip ride costs $15 for adults, $12 for youth.
And if you're lucky, you can catch a ride in one of these.
Catch a performance of The Illustrious Virginia City Players.
the oldest continually running summer stock theatre company in the Northwest, and it's amazing. The first theatre company in Montana, the Amateur Dramatic Association, was formed in Virginia City in the 1800s.
Don't miss the homemade ice cream at the Virginia City Creamery.
There's nothing like ice cream on a hot summer day.
Throughout the summer, you'll see people in period costumes demonstrating historic skills.
This local tradition will make you feel like you've gone back in time.
Virginia City is definitely one of our best treasures. Here are some other
great ghost towns worth exploring.