Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bannack, Montana was bustling gold rush town until turn of the century

At one time hosting 10,000 hungry gold prospectors, Bannack, Montana is now a ghostly shell of its Wild West past. Still open to tourists, history buffs as a national park, Bannack is testament to a time in the American past where promises to get-rich-quick drove western expansion and growth.

Built along the banks of Grasshopper Creek, Bannack's Main Street had three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two stables, a grocery store, a restaurant, a billiard hall and of course, four saloons at its peak.

Built along the banks of Grasshopper Creek, Bannack's Main Street had three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two stables, a grocery store, a restaurant, a billiard hall and of course, four saloons at its peak.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bannack, Montana, gold rush, wild west, ghost town


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Founded in 1862 as the first territorial capital of Montana, the ghost town still boasts 60 structures, all of which can be explored by history lovers today.

Built along the banks of Grasshopper Creek, Bannack's Main Street had three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two stables, a grocery store, a restaurant, a billiard hall and of course, four saloons at its peak.

Prospectors led by John White discovered gold in the creek where Bannack stands today, on July 28th, 1862. Originally named Willard Creek by the historic continental expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1805, the large insect population led to its renaming when the first gold hunters arrived.

Cries of "gold in them thar hills" spread fast across the western frontier. Both Montana and Bannack witnessed the greatest gold rush since California in 1848.

The gold found in Bannack was highly prized. Most gold is 95 percent pure, the nuggets found along the creek at Bannack were found to be 99.5 percent pure, a phenomenal level of quality.

As the town sprang up around the gold, prospectors needed entertainment which came in the form of bars and notorious saloon girls. Bannack's population had grown to 3,000 in the space of a year and the residents applied to the U.S. Government for official recognition.

Originally wanting to name the town Bannock, after the neighboring Native American people, Washington apparently made a mistake and changed the "O" to an "A" - which remained to this day.

Bannack developed a reputation for lawlessness, and the roads in and out of the town along the Montana Trail crawled with bandits. The situation spiraled out of control to the point that in January 1863, the town hired a man named Henry Plummer as sheriff.

Bannack, Montana: Meade Hotel in Ghost Town - which is said to still keep the ghostly souls of its pioneering patrons haunting the building


Eerie: A boardwalk lines a ghost town street where houses, built during Montana's first gold rush in 1862, now stand abandoned


In a bizarre twist of fate, it was later learned that Plummer was secretly in charge of a particularly ruthless posse. Some stories link Plummer and his men for the murders of over one hundred people around Montana, Idaho and Utah.

Bannack, Montana, stands in a valley near rolling hills. The town was the site of Montana's first major gold rush in 1862


Abandoned: At its peak, Bannack's Main Street had three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two stables, a grocery store, a restaurant, a billiard hall and of course, four saloons


Both Plummer and his two deputies were hanged without trial on January 10th, 1864 and a number of his associates and friends were lynched or banished under threat of death should they ever return.

Dangerous Past: A dirt road passes by fields on its way to a ghost town abandoned at the end of the 1862 Montana gold rush


A view down the abandoned main street of ghost town Bannack, Montana


After the title of territorial capital was taken away in 1866 by Virginia City, Bannack's population slowly started to shrink. By 1870, the gold started to dry up and by 1874, the population had fallen to a few hundred.

Realizing the need to halt the decline, a school was built and in 1875, the Beaverhead County Courthouse was erected. Both remain extant today.

Bannack's steady decline continued until 1940, when the school closed and Bannack officially became a ghost town.

Its place in Montana's history was not forgotten though and in 1954, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks declared the town a state park.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

'We are coming for you!' American Islamic jihadist suicide bomber gleefully shouts to Americans on chilling final video Watch

Image of American terrorist Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha smiled and talked about dying and going to paradise.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video shows an American smiling as he prepares to kill himself and dozens of others in a suicide bombing. In the video, made just before his death, Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha, 22, ripped, chewed, and burned his American passport before climbing into an ... continue reading


GOBBLING UP RESOURCES: Fastest part of U.S. population is immigrants, gobbling up national resources Watch

Image of A new report from the group warns that continued population growth could top a worldwide 10 billion by 2100. The report, entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most of the United States' population growth is from immigrants - who are consuming resources dangerously fast. Those are the finding of the group called Negative Population Growth Inc. Furthermore, 80 percent of the growth in U.S. population comes from ... continue reading


Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter