Our September Visit to Virginia City, Montana


On our way to Yellowstone National Park, we stopped to visit Virginia City, Montana. This was once a prospering mining town dating back to 1863 when gold was first discovered in Alder Gulch.


By the following year, this town was brimming with thousands of residents made up of a colorful mix of prospectors, merchants, vigilantes, pioneer families and some noteworthy characters I’ll get to in a minute.


Today, Virginia City is a thriving “ghost town” where visitors can step back into time for a spell. Preservation efforts began in the 1940’s when a couple from Great Falls, Charlie and Sue Bovey, decided to give their personal finances and attention to saving many of the structures.


The whole city is listed as a National Historic Landmark District. Many structures were brought back to life, keeping the original integrity while adding false fronts. Visitors can see what shopping here was once like.


Calamity Jane once lived in Virginia City.


Founder of Bozeman, Montana, and the Bozeman Trail, John Bozeman, who was a prospector and a merchant, brought miners to Virginia City.


Gunfighter, Jack Slade, who co-founded the Pony Express, was lynched in Virginia City.


My favorite story, and I don’t have a photo of the building, was of Sarah Bickford. She was an African American woman, born into slavery, who married a white farmer/miner and together they ran the Virginia City Waterworks. When her husband passed away, Sarah owned two-thirds of the company. She took a corresponding business course, bought the remaining third of the company, and became the first woman in Montana and likely the first African American woman to own a utility company in the U.S. She was well liked in her community.

♥ And that was our visit to Virginia City, Montana. Have you ever been there? Or have you visited another ghost town? I’d love to hear about it! ♥


10 thoughts on “Our September Visit to Virginia City, Montana

  1. Hey Camie, I just wanted to pop over and say thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I always love hearing what you think and how you and your kids are doing. I hope all is well with you and your family. This looks like a beautiful place to visit. Thank you for sharing this with us, your photos make me feel like I am standing right there in the room.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re gonna tire of hearing from me as you relive your trip through the area we used to live in. 😉 For the 5 years we lived in Bozeman we visited Virginia City at least twice annually– isn’t it just the best?! Did you go into the candy store? Ride the train to the next town over? I sure hope you visited during summer months when everything was open. Here’s one of my old posts on the town: http://untoadoption.org/homesteading/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You got some great pics! We will have to go again next summer as this was in September and not everything was open. It was still neat, though! I appreciate your visits and comments.


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