Located in southwestern Montana, the town of Bannack was founded in 1862, when it became the site of Montana's first major gold discovery. It served as the capital of Montana Territory until 1864, when the capital was moved to Virginia City. The strike set off a gold rush that swelled Bannack's population to over 3,000 by 1863, but the population slowly dwindled as the ore was depleted, with the last residents leaving in the 1970s. Bannack is known as the best preserved of all Montana ghost towns, with over 50 buildings lining Main Street, and their historic log and frame structures recall Montana's formative years.
The town had a "sheriff" by the name of Henry Plummer, who was in fact a gang leader. His gang was responsible for nearly a hundred deaths during robberies in the Virginia City and Bannack gold fields and along trails leading westward. Plummer and about twenty members of his gang were tried and hanged in early 1864 by vigilantes from Bannack and Virginia City.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has received funding to continue drainage and stabilization work on historic buildings within the ghost town. Montana winters are harsh, as is the summer sun, and rudimentary building structures don’t last long without preservation.
Last year, the park received $500,000 in legislative funding, and this year a $190,000 grant from Save America’s Treasures be used to stabilize additional structures.
Here's a video that was produced during last year's restoration efforts.
Source: Dredging up GHOSTS
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Bannack State Park