Sunday, July 28, 2013

Virginia City Montana

We saw some neat historic buildings and towns on the east coast last summer but our time in Virginia City, MT rivals any of that.  This was a mining boom town in 1863 and served as the territorial capital from 1865-1875. Over 150 original (yes, original) buildings still stand.
Street view

Street view
 What is really interesting about a lot of the buildings here is that many haven't been overly restored, they've just been maintained, so you get a true feel for the life and age of the building. Like most towns of that age, there have been many fires over the years. Some buildings show the black, burnt scars left from fires that didn't totally destroy them.
The sign says "hastily built". No kidding.
It's amazing it is still standing.

When the gold ran out people slowly left, but the town was never completely abandoned. There are a number of stores that were abandoned over time and when the proprietors left they just left the goods that were left on the shelf. These stores were preserved with goods intact creating fantastic, perfect little museums. On the flip side, the oldest continuously operated store in Montana still exists and thrives in town. 

As I review my pictures I see that, like scenic views, the pictures just don't do justice. They don't capture the charm and feel of the scene. If you are ever in the area and like history, I suggest you plan time for a stop and enjoy the experience first hand.

Territorial Governor's Mansion (on left)
That's a humble mansion.

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