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Virginia City in Madison County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Alder Gulch Short Line Depot

 
 
Alder Gulch Short Line Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 5, 2022
1. Alder Gulch Short Line Depot Marker
Inscription.  The tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad never really came to Virginia City. Although the town was the first overland transportation hum in the Territory of Montana and an important regional supply center, this status predates the railroad era. When the Northern Pacific finally reached Alder Gulch at the turn of the century, the tracks ended at Alder.
The depot area was home to Chinese residents that comprised nearly one third of the town's population in 1870. Confined to the west end of town, the Chinese lived in small cabins and cultivated rooftop gardens. Most were miners who reworked placer claims abandoned after the gold rush but shopkeepers and launderers did a lively trade. At temple once stood nearby where traditional religious practices were observed. Nothing remains on the landscape to mark this early community. By 1875, a dam partially flooded the area to supply water for hydraulic mining and in 1900, gold dredges camp up the gulch as far as this point.
In 1964, Charles Bovey built the Alder Gulch Short Line narrow gauge railroad to link Virginia City and Nevada City. The Northern Pacific was built according
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to standard railroad plans in the early 1890s at Harrison, Montana north of Ennis. After completion of the narrow gauge, Charles Bovey had the depot moved to this location. One old-timer remarked upon its arrival, "This is the first time I ever went to the train and watched the depot pull in."
 
Erected by Montana Heritage Commission, Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian AmericansRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 17.569′ N, 111° 56.975′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is on Wallace Street (State Highway 287) near West Idaho Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 413 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. Green Front Boarding House (within shouting distance of this marker); Kohl's/Little Joe's Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Smith & Boyd Livery Stable (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thexton House (about 300 feet away); Fight of the Century and Flour Riots (about
Alder Gulch Short Line Depot and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 5, 2022
2. Alder Gulch Short Line Depot and Marker
The marker is at the left end of the empty bench.
300 feet away); Frisch/Ferguson Cabin (about 300 feet away); Sim Ferguson Cabin (about 300 feet away); J.F. Stoer Saloon (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
Alder Gulch Short Line Depot image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 5, 2022
3. Alder Gulch Short Line Depot
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 18, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Mar. 4, 2024