5 Montana Ghost Towns
5 Montana Ghost Towns
Since I was born a few hundred years too late, I am sad to say I will never be a western miner in Montana. Luckily, the towns that I would be working in are still scattered throughout southwestern Montana. Here is a list of my favorite ghost towns in which my 200-year-old self would have stepped foot in!
Located near White Sulfur Springs
Castle Town was founded in 1891 during the large mining boom of Montana. This town had everything you would need in 1891, including a school, jail, shops, a market, and of course 17 Saloons. This town is located on private land, so don’t head out looking for silver. This was once home to Calamity Jane, and if you head over to Backcountry Burger in Bozeman, my personal favorite is their burger named after the legend. Nestled in the hills, this town was once great, but as many mining towns had prosperity, this town left with the Silver.
Located near Phillipsburg
Granite is a wonderful town to visit. Granite was once home to the richest mine on earth, pumping silver out of the beautiful mountains around Phillipsburg. Many buildings are still intact, which prompted a state park to be designated to help protect the buildings and history surrounding Granite. The mine once yielded over $40,000,000 in silver alone! Granite is a breathtaking part of Montana history, and after the trip, make sure to head into Phillipsburg for a nice snack in the wonderful town.
Located near Boulder
Elkhorn is a step in the previous century. With many buildings still standing, some of these buildings are unlike many other ghost towns with a multi-story building still hanging on to its support. There is an expansive cemetery with many names that are known in the mining history of Montana. This is also Montana’s smallest state park, and after surviving a brutal wildfire season, Elkhorn is a must-see!
Located near Havre
Fort Assiniboine is a great way to dive directly into the history of the U.S. Government. Before it’s closure in 1911, Fort Assiniboine had 10 calvaries of troops and was a stronghold base for the Government. There were 104 buildings and 14 are still just as they were in 1911, and this fort had everything from schools to a blacksmith. Fort Assiniboine is a wonderful weekend trip for the family!
Located near Lewistown
Back in the late 1800s, gold was found in the Judith Mountains, and a few years later, Gilt Edge was a booming mining town. Unlike the strong silver background of Montana, we had quite a bit of gold too! Gilt Edge was booming so much that Calamity Jane lived here for some time as well. With a few brick buildings still standing, some of these living quarters are a wonderful sight to see. Dive into the history of this area and head to Gilt Edge!
By: Chris Wood