Travel back in time: Virginia City

2014-05-22T00:00:00Z 2014-06-13T11:20:55Z Travel back in time: Virginia CityBy KAREN KINSER The Billings Gazette
May 22, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Once a part of the 1860s gold rush and capital of the Montana Territory, Virginia City now serves as a time machine that will whisk you back to the era of gold rush fever and placer mining camps.

During the peak gold stampede, more than 5,000 people (including Calamity Jane) lived in Virginia City, and another 5,000 staked claims in the area. When the population exploded, there was little law enforcement, and some took the law into their own hands, including the short-lived Montana Vigilantes.

After the gold petered out, the area became a ghost town until the 1950s when the Bovey family began to purchase and restore the buildings.

Now, most of the city is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and contains more than 100 historical buildings with period furnishings. Stroll the same boardwalks that miners and vigilantes haunted in the living history museum that is Virginia City.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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