“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Dillon in Beaverhead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Bannack Historical District

Bannack Historical District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 12, 2018
1. Bannack Historical District Marker
Inscription. Bannack epitomizes the tough, primitive towns that sprang up with gold discoveries. Its story also illustrates a century of survival, through boom and bust periods associated with resource extraction and technological advances. On July 28, 1862, prospectors John White and company made a lucky strike, triggering Montana’s first major gold rush. Miners—many from Idaho’s crowded Salmon River diggings—swarmed over the Continental Divide. By spring 1863, Bannack had 3,000 inhabitants. The town saw six vigilante hangings, including that of its infamous sheriff, Henry Plummer. Briefly designated capital of the new Montana Territory in 1864, the first legislature met here in a crude log cabin. While other gold strikes stole Bannack’s initial population, the town rebounded in the 1870s and served as the Beaverhead County seat until 1881. The Masonic Lodge Hall/School (1874), Methodist Church (1877), and the Hotel Meade built as the Beaverhead County courthouse (1875) reflect this period. Evidence of hydraulic, dredge, and hard rock mining interrupt the landscape. Montana’s first quartz claims initiated hard rock mining here in 1862 and stamp mills soon operated alongside placer mining. Changing technologies produced new boom periods and other changes to Bannack. Electrification of the mines in 1930 brought electricity to the town.
Bannack Historical District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 12, 2018
2. Bannack Historical District Marker
Second from the left
Despite its varied fortunes, the community held together while local mills operated sporadically until World War II. The State of Montana acquired most of the town in 1954, and a few residents remained until the early 1970s. Bannack features multi-period buildings spanning the primitive 1860s, urbanized 1870s-1880s, and early twentieth century. In 1961, Bannack earned status as a National Historic Landmark.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Historical Markers marker series.
Location. 45° 9.744′ N, 112° 59.934′ W. Marker is near Dillon, Montana, in Beaverhead County. Marker can be reached from Bannack Road (State Highway 278), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4200 Bannack Road, Dillon MT 59725, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Tribute to Sidney Edgerton (here, next to this marker); Bannack (within shouting distance of this marker); Nez Perce Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grasshopper Creek (approx. half a mile away); The First Electric Gold Dredge
Bannack Historic Landmark plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 12, 2018
3. Bannack Historic Landmark plaque
has been designated at
Registered National Historic Landmark
under the provision of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1933
This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
(approx. half a mile away); The Way It Used To Be... Way Back (approx. 10.2 miles away); Sacajawea (approx. 13.3 miles away); "it was mutually advantageous..." (approx. 13.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dillon.
More about this marker. This marker is located near the picnic tables at the entrance to the exhibit buildings in Bannack State Park.
Additional keywords. Gold Rush
Categories. Notable EventsSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 5, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 5, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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