Sunday, May 11, 2008

The gold rush era

Saturday we pulled into the tiny little town of Dillon in the Southeast corner of Montana for an over nite stay. Weather was sunny in the 50's with clear blue skies. The nice lady from California, who just purchased this property a year ago , was just full of all kinds of information about the area. The saying 'ya can't tell a book by it's cover", is so very true in the case of this town. Old Victorian style homes scattered here and there tells you at one time there was some important folks with serious dollars lived here at one time. Back to the owner of the RV park, she told us about a place we should go visit while we are here. Bannack State Park is certainly worth the trip, approximately 30 south of our stopping point at the RV park. Bannack, MT is called the "toughest town in the west". It was Montana's first territorial capital and had a major gold strike. So when ya say gold and tough town I'm sure you are forming the image that we!!! They even had a gallows erected in the hills to take care of all the vigilantes that frequented the area. Think I read they even hung the sheriff.....nice place. But this little place was tucked away in a canyon called Grasshopper Valley. What a view they had. I think also residents were here for the gold obviously, but had an idea that maybe Geronimo and his merry band of men would engage in some form with the residents. That never happened after the Battle of Little Big Horn.

This town has been preserved by locals and knowledgeable experts. Think that's what makes this Bannack so interesting, you see the town as it was not glitzy adornments at all.

So if you care to click on the Bannack link above and learn a bit more. But while here enjoy the photos that Mr Doodles took while we visited. We really enjoyed our few hours here and felt the ghosts of the town, because this is a true ghost town. I believe since this is a state park they are able to receive significant funds, and they just received a half a million to do repair work. Most of the standing building were open for visitors to poke around. Hard to believe how all the floors were of rough wood or linoleum still in tact a hundred and thirty some years ago.

this hotel is quite large for the town of only three thousand or so residents

can't ya just see the ladies waltzing down that staircase

must have been some fancy cooking on that stove

Yep they had a Church

one of several jails

the school house
a functional playground with it's original fencing
inside with the school desks that were in pretty good shape

this was taken thru the window of the general store and merchant shop.
Sure wish we could have gotten in there

Hope you enjoyed our journey thru the preserved ghost town of Bannack, Montana...we had a blast.

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