“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Madison County, Montana

Clickable Map of Madison County, Montana and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Madison County, MT (64) Beaverhead County, MT (43) Gallatin County, MT (47) Jefferson County, MT (7) Silver Bow County, MT (8) Fremont County, ID (20)  MadisonCounty(64) Madison County (64)  BeaverheadCounty(43) Beaverhead County (43)  GallatinCounty(47) Gallatin County (47)  JeffersonCounty(7) Jefferson County (7)  SilverBowCounty(8) Silver Bow County (8)  FremontCountyIdaho(20) Fremont County (20)
Adjacent to Madison County, Montana
    Beaverhead County (43)
    Gallatin County (47)
    Jefferson County (7)
    Silver Bow County (8)
    Fremont County, Idaho (20)
Touch name on list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Montana (Madison County), Alder — Garnets, Vigilantes and Gold Dredges
The Ruby River was called the Passamari by the Shoshoni Indians and the Stinking Water by the miners in the early 1860's. Later, it was mistakenly renamed the Ruby, although the gems found along its length were actually garnets. The . . . — Map (db m116998) HM
2Montana (Madison County), Cameron — A Tough Business
The Madison Valley was well known to mountain men and traders during the first half of the 19th century. Beaver loved the many creeks that emptied into the river and buffalo were common in the valley, making it popular for both Indians and trappers. . . . — Map (db m141490) HM
3Montana (Madison County), Cameron — Earthquakes!
Few natural events cause as much fear in people as earthquakes. They remind us that the Earth is always changing and renewing itself and that this sometimes occurs violently and without warning. Earthquakes happen when stored energy is suddenly . . . — Map (db m141489) HM
4Montana (Madison County), Cameron — Motoring Through Paradise: The Vigilante Trail
Motoring was an adventure in the early 20th century and people usually didn't travel very far from home. Most roads were choked with dust during the summers, knee-deep in mud in the rainy seasons, and blocked by snowdrifts in the winters. But as . . . — Map (db m141491) HM
5Montana (Madison County), Cameron — The Seismic Shake that Shaped this Lake
Imagine… in a blink of your eye …you feel the earth rumble beneath your feet …you watch 80 million tons of rock, half a mountain, crashing down …and then the water begins to rise by your campsite At 11:37 p.m. on Aug. 17, 1959 a 7.5 earthquake . . . — Map (db m144146) HM
6Montana (Madison County), McAllister — The Bozeman Trail
Trailblazers John Bozeman and John Jacobs opened the Bozeman Trail in 1864 as a shortcut between the Overland Road and the newly discovered Montana gold fields. The trail began near present Casper, Wyoming and ended just over the Bozeman Pass in . . . — Map (db m117028) HM
7Montana (Madison County), Sheridan — Bethel United Methodist Church
1866 ... first Sunday School. September 1866 first sermon in Sheridan by Rev. George Comfort. Summer 1873 Revs. Francis Riggin and Wm. Wesley Van Orsdel (Brother Dan) are appointed to the newly formed circuit headquartered in Sheridan. This . . . — Map (db m141492) HM
8Montana (Madison County), Sheridan — Robber's Roost
Pete Daly built a log roadhouse at this site in 1863. Unlike most roadhouses of the time, which provided meals, companionship and a place to stay for weary travelers, Daly's was allegedly a hangout for Montana's most notorious criminal gang . . . — Map (db m116999) HM
9Montana (Madison County), Sheridan — Sheridan Montana - The Heart of the Ruby Valley
This small community of Sheridan is located approximately 55 miles south of Butte. Our population is 700 within the town proper, and approximately another 700 in the adjacent Ruby Valley rural area. When those who had come to Virginia City in the . . . — Map (db m141494) HM
10Montana (Madison County), Silver Star — Rope Drive Compressor WheelsFrom the Leonard Mine, Meaderville-Butte, Montana
Big Wheels • About 22 ft. dia. • About 20 tons each • 22 grooves for 1-1/2 inch rope • About ½ mile of rope on each wheel • Originally installed about 1903 • Operated until about 1964 • Erected here in the . . . — Map (db m128410) HM
11Montana (Madison County), Silver Star — Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine
These sheave wheels from the Speculator Mine were used to hoist the bodies of the 168 miners who died in the Granite Mtn. Mine Disaster, June 8, 1917. It remains the worst metal mining tragedy in U.S. History. The Granite Mtn. shaft was burned . . . — Map (db m128411) HM
12Montana (Madison County), Twin Bridges — Lewis & Clark Camped HereA Missing Note & A Side Trip Up the Big Hole River
Which Fork to Take? Meriwether Lewis, traveling ahead with 3 men, reached this spot two days ahead of William Clark and the main parry. After exploring the river courses, Lewis left a note telling Clark to stay on the Jefferson River. Clark . . . — Map (db m128400) HM
13Montana (Madison County), Twin Bridges — Road Agent Trail
Gold was the key to the success or failure of many of Montana's mining camps in the 19th century. Roads were almost as important as gold because they made possible the movement of supplies, people, and precious metals between the remote territory . . . — Map (db m127286) HM
14Montana (Madison County), Twin Bridges — The Jefferson Valley
In, early August, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, westward bound, came up the Jefferson River and passed through this area. The valley was an ancient travel corridor; Lewis noted the presence of an "old Indian road" near the Big Hole River. . . . — Map (db m116997) HM
15Montana (Madison County), Twin Bridges — The Trail of Lewis & Clark
Meriwether Lewis, Touissaint Charboneau, Patrick Gass and George Drewyer, the vanguard of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the first white men to enter this valley, camped on the east bank of the Beaverhead River, two blocks west of here, on . . . — Map (db m128399) HM
16Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — 1863 - Virginia City - 1925
Fairweather and Party Discovered World’s Richest Placer Ground May 26, 1863 Most Important Center of Notorious Road Agent Activities 1863-1864 Center of Montana’s Famous Vigilante Organization 1863-1864 Home of Montana’s First Newspaper, . . . — Map (db m128434) HM
17Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Adobetown
Alder Gulch at peak population numbered ten thousand souls and the colorful mining camps that enjoyed the limelight were so numerous that contemporaries named it the Fourteen-mile City. Adobetown was one of the many settlements that lined the . . . — Map (db m117000) HM
18Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Allen and Millard Bank
The Federal Reserve Bank of Montana identifies the Allen and Millard Bank, which opened here in 1864, as the first real bank in Montana Territory. While other businesses in the Territory called themselves banks, most were actually express companies . . . — Map (db m128435) HM
19Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — An Important Era in Railroad History
The Montana Heritage Commission’s state-owned collection of railroad equipment represents the construction era of railroads in Montana. The wooden Soo Line cars representative of cars used by the Northern Pacific, Great Northern and Union Pacific as . . . — Map (db m128402) HM
20Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Anaconda Hotel(Fairweather Inn)
The oldest section of this building, dating to 1863, was first a simple one-story building which housed a restaurant called the “Young American Eating House.” A butcher shop followed from 1866 to the 1880s, and then in the 1880s the . . . — Map (db m49474) HM
21Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Barlett’s Blacksmith Shop
Virginia City boomed and land prices soared accordingly in 1863 and 1864, a trend well illustrated in the earliest ownership transactions of this choice commercial property. On May 13, 1864, George Parker paid $800 for the lot and sold it for $1400 . . . — Map (db m49441) HM
22Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Belgium, Paris, New York, St. Louis, Virginia City
Dr. Levinus Daems built or purchased the home on the right (West) soon after his arrival in Virginia City in 1863. Born in Belgium, Levinus Daems studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Paris. While in Paris, he likely met his future . . . — Map (db m117102) HM
23Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Boot Hill
This was Virginia City’s first Cemetery. There were many markers here, but only those of the road agents and Daltons remain. The road agent’s graves, which gave the Cemetery its name Boot Hill, were first marked by the city in 1907. William & Clara . . . — Map (db m49490) HM
24Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — C. L. Dahler House
Two small houses shared this choice corner location in 1866, but after 1875, photographs reveal the unmistakable steeply pitched roof and central gable of this splendid Gothic Revival style residence. Expansion and remodeling during the 1890s . . . — Map (db m117044) HM
25Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Creighton Stone Block
Brothers John A. and Edward Creighton came west scouting the first transcontinental telegraph lines from Omaha, Nebraska, to the coast. Temporarily settling in Virginia City, Edward hired Thompson and Griffith to construct this building, the . . . — Map (db m117047) HM
26Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Dance and Stuart Store
James Stuart and his brother Granville set up the first sluice boxes in the northern Rockies in 1852. Delaware native Walter B. Dance came to Gold Creek in 1862. James Stuart and Dance opened their mercantile in November, 1863. One of Virginia . . . — Map (db m49442) HM
27Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Dr. Don L. Byam Residence
Light timber framing with board-and-batten walls characterizes this early home original to the Nevada City townsite. Inside, the original, well-preserved, muslin-covered walls are a rare example of a frontier decorating technique. The cabin’s . . . — Map (db m117035) HM
28Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — E. L. Smith Store
The design of this false-fronted wooden shop, built in 1863, includes hand hewn timbers and bay windows which are said to have been Montana's first "show windows.” The Star Billiard Hall was an early tenant, followed by a shoe dealer and . . . — Map (db m117093) HM
29Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Elling Bank
Bankers Nowlan and Weary set up business in this brick-veneered building, one of the town’s oldest stone structures, in 1864. Three well-proportioned gothic arches with elaborate tracery, removed during 1910 remodeling, originally graced this stone . . . — Map (db m49486) HM
30Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — F.R. Merk Block
Gold dust was the common currency when George Higgins built this sturdy “fire-proof stone” business block circa 1866. F.R. Merk leased the new building for his mercantile, advertising fancy and staple groceries, liquors, Queensware, . . . — Map (db m49440) HM
31Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Fight of the Century and Flour Riots
J. A. Nelson built Leviathan Hall in 1863 with a "special view to the development of muscular talent." Torn down just five years later in 1868, the hall dominated Wallace Street with its impressive 28 feet wide and 100 feet long footprint. . . . — Map (db m117055) HM
32Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Finney House
Construction layers of this original homestead tell much of Nevada City’s ‘boom and bust’ history. In 1864, miner Frank Finney and his bride, Mary, moved into a cabin on this property that had been constructed the previous year. The cabin forms the . . . — Map (db m49567) HM
33Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Frank Prasch Blacksmith Shop
Like the blacksmith shop next door, this early building was probably a dance hall or saloon in the mid-1860s run by owner John Trollman. In 1865 Trollman was one of Virginia City’s seventy-three licensed retail liquor dealers. By the 1870, a larger . . . — Map (db m49410) HM
34Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — G. Goldberg Store(McGovern Dry Goods)
This 1863 building features a classic Greek Revival style storefront with French doors, typical of the 1860s frontier. The lintel above the door still bears the name of G. Goldberg, who ran the Pioneer Clothing Store Company prior to 1866. The . . . — Map (db m49469) HM
35Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Gallows Barn
Built in the 1890’s for the White Sulfur Springs Sheriff’s Department. In the year 1917 this barn had a legal gallows installed for the execution of three men. These men robbed a train south of White Sulfur Springs and murdered a trainman on January . . . — Map (db m49569) HM
36Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Gold in Alder Gulch
Alder Gulch, located between Virginia City and Alder, is one of the most significant placer mining districts in the U.S., having produced over 2.5 million troy ounces of gold between 1863, and 1889. In total, miners recovered over $40 billion . . . — Map (db m117023) HM
37Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Green Front Boarding House
These two adjoining log houses were probably built by Calvin Holly and William Douglas as dwellings in the late 1860s. By 1890, the two buildings were operated as “female boarding houses” or house of prostitution run by madames Myrtle . . . — Map (db m49385) HM
38Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Hangman’s Building
On January 14, 1864 , the Vigilantes used the heavy center support beam of this building, then under construction, to hang five of Henry Plummer’s road agents: Frank Parish, Boone Helm, Jack Gallagher, Haze Lyons and Club Foot George Lane. Druggists . . . — Map (db m49487) HM
39Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — History Wins!
In 2009, the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (the Friends) and the Montana Heritage Commission (MHC) engaged in partnership whereby the MHC loaned some unused railroad trucks (axles, wheels, and suspensions systems of rail cars) to . . . — Map (db m128403) HM
40Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — J.B. LaBeau, Jeweler(Toy Store)
This property contributes to the Virginia City Historic District • Listed in the National Register of Historic Places By the United States Department of Interior • In cooperation with . . . — Map (db m49471) HM
41Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — J.F. Stoer Saloon(Bale of Hay Saloon)
Retail liquor dealer J.F. Stoer operated here from the raucous 1860s until about 1890. From that time until 1908, Smith and Boyd who ran the livery next door ran this establishment, aptly renamed the “Bale of Hay.” After 1908, the . . . — Map (db m49390) HM
42Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Kiskadden’s Stone Block(Vigilante Barn)
Virginia City’s first stone building, constructed during the summer of 1863, originally housed three stores on the ground floor and a meeting hall upstairs. Popular legend has long designated this as the meeting place of the Vigilantes, who . . . — Map (db m49473) HM
43Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Kramer Building(Dress Shop)
The hasty construction on this remarkably preserved early dwelling reflects the excitement of the gold rush to Alder Gulch during the summer of 1863. Its original dirt-covered pole roof predates the first saw mills; the roof was later covered over . . . — Map (db m49443) HM
44Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Madison County Pioneers
The gold rush to Alder Creek in 1863 spurred settlement of the Madison Valley, and among the first families to settle here were the Jeffers, the Switzers (whose home is preserved here in Nevada City) and the Careys. Irish-born Nick Carey walked to . . . — Map (db m49565) HM
45Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Metropolitan Meat Market
George Gohn was one of the first to arrive at Alder Gulch in 1863 where he and Conrad Kohrs set up a meat market in a log cabin. Alkali dust sifted through the chinks and covered the meat prompting Gohn to experiment with various other locations . . . — Map (db m49479) HM
46Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Montana’s Oldest Standing School
This little log building is Montana’s Oldest Standing Public School, built in 1867 in Twin Bridges, Montana, about 30 miles north of here. It served Twin Bridges until 1873, when the Masons built a two-story building with the first floor for use as . . . — Map (db m49568) HM
47Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Nevada City
Nine booming gold camps sprawled along remote Alder Gulch in 1863. Nevada City and Virginia City were the largest. In December, 1863, Nevada City’s main street was the scene of the miner’s court and hanging of George Ives. This event was the . . . — Map (db m49563) HM
48Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Old Masonic Temple
In the top story of his building the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Montana was formed on January 24th to 29th AL. 5866 Virginia City Lodge No. 43 of Kansas Montana Lodge No. 9 of Colorado and Helena Lodge No. 10 of Colorado Which are now . . . — Map (db m49485) HM
49Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Pfouts and Russel(Rank’s Drug – Old Masonic Temple)
Paris Pfouts, Vigilante president and Virginia City’s first mayor, was instrumental in laying out the town. He and his partner, Samuel Russell, built a log store on this site in summer, 1863. Local hell-raiser Jack Slade was arrested here on March . . . — Map (db m49484) HM
50Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — S. R. Buford & Company
Rounded arches and a tall false front characterize Virginia City's first brick building, built by clothing merchant E. J. Walter in 1875. It is said that construction using locally produced bricks was accomplished as a test before the building of . . . — Map (db m117100) HM
51Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — S.L. Simpson Building(Barber Shop)
This narrow frame building may be one of Virginia City’s earliest structures, dating to the summer of 1863 when buildings like this were rented for up to $175 during the initial gold rush. Its odd-sized door appears to have been locally handmade. . . . — Map (db m49412) HM
52Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Sauerbier Blacksmith Shop
A notorious dance hall was the original occupant of this 1863 building which encompasses a small cabin of V-notched logs, one of the first built in June of that year. Tall French doors and a few dentils clinging to the facade recall its former dance . . . — Map (db m49407) HM
53Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Site of First Masonic Meetings
This Monument Marks The Site Wherein Virginia City Lodge No. 43 Of Kansas And Montana Lodge No. 9 Of Colorado Held Their First Meetings. Virginia City Lodge Held Its First Meeting February 27th, AL. 5864. Montana Lodge Held Its First Meeting May . . . — Map (db m89478) HM
54Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Site of the Trial and Hanging of George Ives
Dec. 21, 1863 Most extraordinary trial in history. — Map (db m49566) HM
55Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Smith & Boyd Livery Stable
This false-fronted rubble stone barn was constructed by Smith and Boyd circa 1900, replacing a log livery stable. The stone part of the building and the front doors and windows remain as they were at the turn of the century. The barn was converted . . . — Map (db m49387) HM
56Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Spacious Victorian Luxury
The home on the left (East) belonged to John L. Corbett, a civil engineer who drafted the original plat of Virginia City in 1868. Records indicate that Corbett owned the home only briefly in 1875-76. The Corbett side of the dwelling is . . . — Map (db m117104) HM
57Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Stonewall Hall
From 1865 to 1875 when Virginia City was Montana’s territorial capital, the Territorial Legislature met on the second floor of this stone building. Constructed in 1864, it is Montana’s oldest standing capitol building. The second floor also housed . . . — Map (db m49439) HM
58Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Strasburger’s Colorado Store(Jewelry Store)
This property contributes to the Virginia City Historic District • Listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior • In cooperation . . . — Map (db m49470) HM
59Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — The Buford Block
Built in 1899. one can see that this imposing structure was the pride, not only of Virginia City, but also of Montana – being, according to history the largest mercantile store in the state at that time. Hardware, hay, grain, salt, and . . . — Map (db m117101) HM
60Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — The Mount Vernon Dredge
In its first five years, Alder Gulch produced between 30 and 60 million in gold. By 1874 about 35,000 people lived in the gulch. Times ran out but the gold never did. You can still find it here in the hills and streams of Alder Gulch. There were 5 . . . — Map (db m49570) HM
61Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — The Remarkable Sarah Bickford
Born a slave in 1852 near Jonesborough, Tennessee, Sarah Bickford would become an iconic Montana businesswoman. Separated from her parents during the Civil War, upon conclusion of the war Sarah then moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1870, . . . — Map (db m117050) HM
62Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — 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 . . . — Map (db m117107) HM
63Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Virginia City
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 . . . — Map (db m117029) HM
64Montana (Madison County), Virginia City — Virginia City National Historic Landmark District
The spectacular gold discovery in Alder Gulch on May 26, 1863, led to the rapid growth of this colorful and legendary gold camp town. Thousands of fortune-seekers rushed to the area, and by 1864 the Virginia City area boasted 30,000 residents. Rough . . . — Map (db m49382) HM
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Mar. 3, 2021