Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Virginia City

After several days of chilly rain here at Red Rock, we decided that today we were going to ignore the weather and head out on a road trip. Gordon and Juanita invited us to ride along with them to visit a bit of Montana history. Along the way, we stopped to enjoy a scenic overlook of the Madison River Valley. Don't these two look cute?

Virginia City is a living history museum. It's a labor of love of the Montana Heritage Commission, which is committed to preserving this 1860s gold mining town. Many of the more than 100 buildings around town appear as they did "back in the day". Others are home to modern shopkeepers.

These old post office boxes attracted my attention.

After a visit to the post office, Virginia Citians of yesteryear may have stopped by the courthouse to take care of their town business.

The home of the Virginia City Artisans and Grower's Guild is housed, aptly enough, in this sod-roofed cabin.

This truck looks a wee bit out of place in this gold mining town in the Old West.

Now, this mode of transportation fits right in!

Simeon R. Buford opened the region's largest grocery store here in 1878. Much of the items on display in the store came from Buford's inventory.

A mile and a half up the road is Nevada City, another project of the MHC. Like its neighbor, Nevada City offers visitors a chance to step back in time. You can almost hear spurs on the boardwalks around town!

Nevada City was the birthplace of the Vigilantes, a group of men who favored lynching over jury trials and hung 22 men in 1864. Thankfully, the streets are quiet these days.

The arrival of the railroads transformed southwest Montana from wild frontier to booming communities. This Great Northern railcar is aging not so gracefully here in Nevada City.

Wandering amongst charming building like this one was a delightful trip back in time. If only these walls could talk!

We returned to the 21st century via Ennis, Montana. The four of us enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Ennis Cafe, and Juanita and I checked out the local quilt shop. After a quick stop at Resvedts to stock up on steaks, burgers and brats, we returned to Red Rock. We're planning to return for more fun in this quaint little town soon.

We picked a great day to ignore the weather. We stayed warm and dry all day while we stepped back in time to enjoy an interesting bit of Montana history.


Randy and Terry said...

It's funny; I remember those places being mentioned or "visited" in the TV show, Bonanza! :)

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Oh what a cool and interesting place! Will mark that one down as a place to stop if we are ever in that area. Thanks!

(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Jim and Dee said...

That's a super place to see. All these places on our list. I guess we better get moving.