Virginia City in Madison County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Thompson-Hickman Library and Museum
William Boyce Thompson and his wife, Gertrude Hickman, were born in Virginia City to parents of early pioneers. The couple moved to New York City, but retained local ties. The Thompsons provided the funds to build this facility housing a public library and historical collections. Frank A. Colby and Thomas A. Bruno of New York City designed and constructed the building. Work began in 1918 with the laying of the cornerstone; items sealed inside include coins and Thompson and Hickman family histories. Mayor Jacob Albright and Harry E. Hall served as overseers of construction. Built of locally quarried blue-gray stone, the public facility opened in 1922. Generous fireplaces and huge bookcases at either end welcomed patrons to the upper-level reading room and public library. While residents established the first library as early as 1865, the Virginia City Women's Club organized the current library, in 1902. The ground floor museum features local artifacts, photographs, and collections of early Alder Gulch, much of it acquired by former Virginia City mayors James Emslie and James Walker.
This property contributes to the Virginia
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1918.
Location. 45° 17.639′ N, 111° 56.51′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is on Wallace Street (State Highway 287) west of Hamilton Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is a metal plaque, mounted at waist-level, directly on the stone retaining wall in front of the subject library, along the sidewalk and just left of the entrance staircase. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 220 Wallace Street, Virginia City MT 59755, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1863 - Virginia City - 1925 (a few steps from this marker); Virginia City (a few steps from this marker); Virginia City School (within shouting distance of this marker); Gilbert House (within shouting distance of this marker); C.W. Rank House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thexton HouseGohn Residence (about 300 feet away); Lewis/Gohn House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. William Boyce Thompson
Also see . . .
1. William Boyce Thompson.
William Boyce Thompson, was an American mining engineer, financier, prominent in the Republican party, philanthropist, and founder of Newmont Mining. Thompson was one of the significant early twentieth century mine operators that discovered and exploited vast copper deposits that revolutionized Western American mining, and reaped for themselves tremendous fortunes. He donated money for parks and libraries at many of his mining camps, including the Thompson-Hickman Memorial Library in his birthplace, Virginia City; his wife Gertrude Hickman Thompson officially transferred the building to the city in 1918. (Submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. William Boyce Thompson.
He operated silver and copper mines in Montana and Arizona. He moved to New York City, New York and became director of the Federal Reserve bank of New York (1914 to 1919) and was twice a delegate to the Republican National Convetion (1916, 1920). In 1919, he founded the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Yonkers, New York which has since become a research institute of Cornell University. He also founded the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona. His life has been memorialized in a biography entitled "The Magnate" by Hermann Hagedorn. (Submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.