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 January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

For the first time in 100 years, Yosemite National Park hosts extremely rare sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox Watch

Image of For the first time in 100 years, the Sierra Nevada red fox has been spotted in the Yosemite National Park.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the first confirmed sighting in nearly 100 years, the rare Sierra Nevada red fox has been captured with motion-sensitive cameras in the Yosemite National Park. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red ... continue reading


Disaffected Colorado teenager who tried to join ISIS gets four years in prison Watch

Image of After serving four years in prison, 19-year-old Shannon Conley must spend three years of supervised release and serve community service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Poor choices made in youthful hast have consequences. Nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, from Colorado has been sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State. At the heart of this disturbing story is an Internet romance that went ... continue reading


Coin collectors of the world eagerly line up to see 1822 Half Eagle at convention Watch

Image of Historically, nearly 18,000 of the $5 pieces were minted in 1822. As the concentration of gold was lowered in coins after 1834, most of the earlier coins were melted down for gold.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

One of the rarest coins in the U.S., the 1822 Half Eagle, originally worth only $5, will make its first public appearance in more than three decades in Long Beach this weekend. There are only three of the coins known still in existence. The coin will go on ... continue reading


California's Kern County declares state of FISCAL EMERGENCY with plunging gas prices Watch

Image of Supervisors adopted a plan to immediately begin scaling back county spending rather than making deep reductions all at once in July.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kern County, in central California, relies heavily on its petroleum industry for tax revenues. While motorists nationwide are currently enjoying lower gas prices, this spells certain disaster for the County of Kern - officials there have declared a fiscal ... continue reading


Could terrorists attempt to attack the White House with a drone? Crash sparks debate over future use of drones in war Watch

Image of A small, four propeller drone, crashed on the White House lawn, spurring a discussion on whether drones may be used by terrorist groups in the future.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A two-foot-long, four propeller drone crashed onto the White House grounds yesterday, raising troubling questions that drones could be utilized by terrorists or other potential murderers to attack the White House or other U.S. government institutions that have ... continue reading


The Thrill of the Chaste: Matt C. Abbott Interviews Dawn Eden Watch

Image of Dawn Eden, author of the highly-acclaimed My Peace I Give You and the Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste

By Matt C. Abbott

Being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and receiving Jesus' own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, has given me a deeper understanding of the meaning of being embodied. I see more clearly how chastity enables one to love fully in each relationship, in the ... continue reading


GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... 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, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... 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