Montana’s Ghost Towns Virginia City, Nevada City Bring Old West To Life

Sunday, July 31 2011 20:22   Historic Towns
Ever dream of being in an old Western, where you mosey into the saloon, holsters and chaps on, ready for the bartender to pour you a brew, and a table waiting for a round of fearless poker?

Well, walking down the boardwalk in Montana's Virginia City you can easily imagine just that. A short drive from the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park and the fine fishing burg of Ennis, Mont., Virginia City and neighboring Nevada City are two old mining towns that are mostly in tack as they were in the 1800s when the Montana gold rush was in full swing.

sexton_virgnev_cities_actorsLocated in southwestern Montana's Gold West Country, where ghost towns of once thriving mining towns dot the mineral-rich hills and mountains, Virginia City and Nevada City are rare exceptions. They have both been meticulously restored, and over 100 historic buildings tell the story of how life once was in the Wild West of Montana.

Although their population numbers have gone from over 10,000 in 1864 to around 130 today, in the summer months the towns come back to life with full force, and open doors welcome visitors back into the Old West.

Children and adults alike love the living history museum in Nevada City, where actors play cards at the local saloon, make homemade bread, and make horseshoes with the local blacksmith.

In Nevada City, hop on the historic steam engine for Virginia City, which links the two communities. A horse-drawn stage tour on the Virginia City Overland Stagecoach is a must do as well. The stage driver is equipped with stories of lore about the rough-and-tumble town's most notorious residents.

The Virginia City Players bring the historic Opera House to life again as well, presenting a turn-of-the century melodrama followed by a knee-smacking vaudeville act. In the evening, adults can also head to the Gilbert Brewery for a taste of the Brewery evening of hilarious cabaret entertainment housed in the oldest brewery in Montana.

At the end of the night, rest your head at the Fairweather Inn, with authentic Victorian furnishings, and on your way out of town, don't forget to grab a piece of pie at the famed Star Bakery in Nevada City.

Visit for more information on all Gold West Country's historic and natural wonders.


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