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USA: MONTANA: ghost towns, Nevada City, Elkhorn

In Nevada City and Elkhorn, Montana, visit ghost town frontier buildings to visualize historic lifestyles.

Nevada City historic frontier buildings, lifestyle

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Step back through history in 1890s era frontier buildings and lifestyle restored at Nevada City, Montana. Nevada City thrived as a placer gold mining camp from 1863-1876, but quickly declined into a virtual ghost town. Renovated Nevada City now evokes the bygone time of gold discovery and mining at Alder Gulch, with the support of Chinese laundry labor. More than 90 buildings from across Montana have been gathered for preservation at Nevada City, mostly publicly owned by the State of Montana and managed by the Montana Heritage Commission. In 2001, the excellent PBS television series “Frontier House” used one of the buildings and its furnishings to train families in re-creating pioneer life. A miner’s court trial and hanging of George Ives in the main street of Nevada City was the catalyst for forming the Vigilantes, a group of citizens famous for taking justice into their own hands in 1863-1864. Directions: go 27 miles southeast of Twin Bridges, Montana on Highway 287.

Elkhorn historic frontier buildings

Two original buildings, outstanding examples of American frontier architecture, are preserved and open to the public as Elkhorn State Park, in Montana. The silver, gold and lead mines at Elkhorn began booming in 1875, then declined in 1892 as silver prices dropped. A few miners still work the Elkhorn mines and live in private homes nearby within Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Directions: Take Interstate 15 to Boulder exit, go 7 miles south on Montana 69, then 11 miles north on county graveled road.

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