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

Virginia City

 
 
Virginia City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
1. Virginia City Marker
Inscription.
Prospectors found placer gold along a streambed choked with alder trees in May, 1863. Thousands came from every corner of the world to try their luck in the placer mines and, perhaps, to garner a piece of the far-famed treasure. A brief but turbulent period of lawlessness and vigilante justice ended with the creation of Montana Territory in 1864. Virginia City quickly rose to be territorial capital (1865-1875), but the glory faded when placer gold played out and the people moved on.

Bypassed on the railroad route, Virginia City struggled. Gold dredging operations from the 1890's to the 1940's saved the town from abandonment. Then, Charles and Sue Bovey began buying the dilapidated gold-rush era buildings in the 1940's. Virginia City became one of the first preservation efforts in the West and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The gold rush-era false-fronts and territorial-period landmarks reflect the optimism of Virginia City's early residents, providing a unique window to the past.
 
Location. 45° 17.647′ N, 111° 56.52′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is on Wallace Street (State Highway 287) west of Hamilton Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker
Virginia City Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
2. Virginia City Marker (wide view)
is located in the large parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection, in front of an old, abandoned and dilapidated gas station. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia City MT 59755, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Thompson-Hickman Library and Museum (a few steps from this marker); C. L. Dahler House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia City National Historic Landmark District (about 600 feet away); Hangmanís Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spacious Victorian Luxury (approx. 0.2 miles away); Creighton Stone Block (approx. 0.2 miles away); Belgium, Paris, New York, St. Louis, Virginia City (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Remarkable Sarah Bickford (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, composite "billboard-style" marker, suspended from a heavy wooden frame, and in good condition.
 
Regarding Virginia City. National Historic Landmark (1961)
 
Also see . . .
1. A Brief History of Virginia City, Montana.
The proposed name of the new town was “Varina;” honoring the wife of Jefferson Davis-president of the Confederate States of America.
Dance & Stuart General Store, Virginia City, Montana image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
3. Dance & Stuart General Store, Virginia City, Montana
Judge Bissell, a staunch Unionist, declared that there was no way he would approve of a charter which carried this name. One of the charterís proponents hastened to explain that, inasmuch as Mrs. Davis was the daughter of a prominent New Jersey family, her name actually represented a thoughtful compromise in sectional consciousness. Somewhat mollified-if not totally convinced-Judge Bissell responded by crossing out the proposed name “Varina” and writing in the name of the city as “Virginia.” (Submitted on May 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Virginia City, Montana – A Lively Ghost Town.
By definition, Virginia City, Montana is a ghost town, yet it is very much alive. Frozen in time, this historic city provides one of the best-preserved examples of the many mining camps of the American West. Virginia City got its start when gold was discovered in Alder Gulch in 1863. Planning on keeping their discovery a secret, the men traveled to Bannack, some 60 miles to the southwest, for supplies. However, several sharp-eyed prospectors noticed their gold-filled sacks and when the men returned to Alder Gulch, some 200 miners were following them. (Submitted on May 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Where Montana History Lives.
Virginia City and Nevada City lie along Alder Gulch
Kiskadden Block, Virginia City, Montana image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
4. Kiskadden Block, Virginia City, Montana
about one mile apart, the site of the richest placer gold strike in the Rocky Mountains with an estimate total value of 100 million dollars throughout the 18th and 19th century. In the early 1860s, during the first three seasons, an estimated $30 million worth of gold was removed from the gulch. (Submitted on May 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Rank's Drug Store, Virginia City, Montana image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
5. Rank's Drug Store, Virginia City, Montana
S.R. Buford & Company, Virginia City, Montana image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
6. S.R. Buford & Company, Virginia City, Montana
Additional Virginia City Marker <i>(click on photo to enlarge)</i> image. Click for full size.
7. Additional Virginia City Marker (click on photo to enlarge)
This 50's era postcard shows an earlier Virginia City marker, tell much the same story, but with less detail. Although the background shown on the card does not seem to match very well that of the more current photos, the stone monument in which the marker is set would seem to be the same - compare the top row of rocks in the two marker photos.

Atop the older marker is a smaller plaque that would seem to indicate (legibility is poor due to low resolution) that the marker is the property of the Montana State Highway Commission.

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on May 4, 2018. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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