Historic Ghost Town: Bannack, MT

in #history2 years ago (edited)

Jeff & I love a good road trip! It’s great family time together. As my father is getting on his years, we really focus on creating memories with him. I knew he loved Montana history, and last year he shared that he’d like to visit more ghost towns. So here we go, to Bannack, Montana.


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Modest Miner’s house


Bannack was the first territorial capital of our state & the first major gold rush area of Montana! Today, Bannack is a historic ghost town. 👻

Jeff is so excited, he’s never been to a true ghost town! Armed with a map, his camera & water, we headed out on the road to Bannack.


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It’s a gorgeous time of year to drive through scenic Montana country. Our Spring rains bring the most beautiful green! If you don’t get out to enjoy it in June, you’ll miss it. July, drought sets in and all will be golden amber.


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After a beautiful, rainy 2.5 hour drive, we arrived at Bannack State Park.


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The history of the area is quite interesting. Lewis & Clark had voyaged through the area previous to the gold rush. But it was John White from Colorado that discovered considerable quantities of gold in what he named “Grasshopper Creek”.


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Grasshopper Creek, flooded from Spring runoff


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Blue Flax


White filed one of the first mining claims in what would become the State of Montana, in 1862. The mining camp came to be known as Bannock, with an O. A corruption of a near by Indian tribe name, Banate. But when paperwork was submitted to Washington D.C. for their post office, a clerk misspelled it! Thus becoming Bannack.


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Bannack,MT


Word traveled fast about the gold mining & within 6 months the town had a population of 3,000!


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Jeff being weighed at the Assay office


It was everything you’d expect from an old west mining town. Hangings, Saloons & “ladies of negotiable virtue”.


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belly up to the bar at Skinner Saloon


But Bannack also had a baseball team, school, ice skating and a Free Mason Society.


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Scoolhouse & Masonic Lodge


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desks in schoolhouse


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Barber chair


There was also a jail, but the funny thing was... in a gold rush, finding someone to watch over prisoners was impossible. Why waste time when they could be out panning for nuggets! Offenders were usually warned, banished or hanged. Swift justice.


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Bannack Jails


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Room with a view


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Jeff contemplating his crimes


For it’s first 15 years, Bannack was free of any house of worship. It is said that when the first minister came to town, he went to the saloon on Sunday. When he announced who he was the bartender silenced the rowdy bar. Brother Van sang for them. As most mining towns were starved of good entertainment, he was allowed an hour, thus becoming their first sermon.


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Methodist Church


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Preach it Jeff!


At the end of the day, we had spent 3 hours walking through 26 abandoned buildings. Each one a unique look at what life was like in an old Montana mining town. Here is a photo finish of all the things that captured my eyes.


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Wagon, of course


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Beautiful antique stove


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What the heck is this thing? Looks brutal


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I’m drawn to geometry! Woodwork on cabinet


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Eyecatching patterns on milled log walls


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Hotel Meade


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Intricate detail on door hinge. Hotel Meade


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Mining Carts


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Jeff riding the wagon wheel


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1923 International


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I’m so confused


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Exiting Bannack


Hope you enjoyed a tour through historic Montana with us!

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Wow... a real ghost town. How awesome! I’d love to visit a place like this one day. Great post!

Visit away! Ghost town history is everywhere! 👻

Awesome pictures Dorky!! You have a talent dear... the images you've captured are fantastic!! It definitely looks like a place I'd like to see in person. Thanks for sharing babe!! Have a fun weekend!!

😃 thx @monchhichi23! I’m so pleased that I gave you a good view. Come visit us up north anytime! 👻

Resteemed! Awsome pictures, I want to go there!

Thank you @joelithic33! Never too late to visit!

great photos, it has been a long time since I have been to Bannack. Thanks for posting these, love to see the place again!

I can’t believe you braved entering the ghost town. I think I watched too many spooky movies. There was one ghost town for sale somewhere in the boonies here. An old miners community that has been abandoned. I showed my H if we should invest at a whooping 1 Mil I think, lol, he looked at me like I was a crazy woman. Not sure if it was the price he thought funny or the town itself.

@beeyou... there was one house that gave me big shivers! The biggest, fanciest home, the bankers house. The moment I stepped in, I felt shivers! 👻 hmmm who knows what happened there?!

I checked but don’t see any photo of the bankers house. Prob for the best, that’s the morbid fascination we humans have. We know we shouldn’t go looking but we still do anyway.

I had one house that gave me the shivers when home shopping years ago. There was one particular bedroom with the door open. Glanced in and just had some bad vibes from the place. My cousin later found out I checked out that house and told me to not buy that one. She knew the family and the mom hung herself in that house. Shivers

I was too busy shivering to take pics apparently! 👻

Wow! That is such a amazing place and so cool like stepping back in time 😉 absolutely amazing pictures and how cool with a ghost town. I would loove to visit that someday. Thank you for sharing. Cheers!

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