"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bannack Ghost Town & Mine - Montana

Dillon, Montana
Clark Canyon Reservoir BLM

One place we really wanted to visit was Bannack State Park's ghost town and mine.  Bannack was founded in 1862 when John White discovered gold on Grasshopper Creek.
 You can take a self guided tour for free or for $4 you can take the guided tour which gets you a drive in an old truck and to places you cannot otherwise explore.
By the 1950's gold workings had dwindled and most folks had moved on. At that point the State of Montana declared Bannack a State Park. 
This is inside the mine buildings where the poisonous materials were mixed.
Above is an example of the splicing of huge timbers which hold up the roof.
Rock crusher.

Grasshopper Creek runs through the park and is full of deer and, beaver and other wildlife.
There are walkways along both sides of the street.

You can walk inside the buildings and look around.  Some have more furnishings than others.
The old schoolhouse downstairs and the Masonic Lodge upstairs.
The  Masonic Lodge, amazingly preserved.
I think the ghosts in this house were in Timeout a lot.
Inside one of the buildings that the blacksmith works was some of the ranch brands stamped on the walls.  You may have to enlarge to see most of them.
The Jail with a couple of criminals inside, looking out.
The church to the above, left.

Some of the homes were still in very good condition. It reminded me of some of the old cabins in Tin Cup, Colorado that some families still live in.

Skinner Saloon.
Piano and poker tables.
You can also get a haircut at the other end of the bar.
The lovely brick Goodrich Hotel with its sweeping staircase.

Shoe maker tools.

I just love old ceramic and crystal doorknobs.
My sister-in-law, Diane and my brother, Steve taking a rest along the way.
This house had a thin lace curtain that looked really creepy if you stood behind it with your face showing.  Zoom in.

The grounds were really pretty too as you walked around the creek.

We walked around the creek as we looked for a geocache.  It's not Diane's favorite thing, but she walked right up to it and found it first.
It was pretty cool.  There was a hole drilled into a large rock and the cache was hidden inside.  We spent about 3 hours walking around on our own after the guided tour.  So much history.  Afterward we drove back to Dillon and walked around a little bit then got something to eat and drink at the brewery.  We could've spent a couple of more hours walking through town in the museum and local historic places.
 They had a great beer selection to sample.
 Diane and I sampled the other beverages.
Before leaving we fished a little.  This is a really good stop-action picture I happened to get.  Notice the water splashing up around my brothers boot.  The fish had spit the hook and he didn't want to lose it so he went in after it.  The fish lost.
 While we fished my Steve did a great job rehanging his first dual blind.  That's one down and 3 more to do!
Here's a picture of the lake that shows the campgrounds that surround the lake.  We stayed at Beaverhead at the top, right, just off the highway.  On our way out we dumped at the Lewis and Clark campground across from it.
Dillon was a great town to explore and staying for free at Beaverhead BLM right on the lake was perfect.  The fishing was amazing and we'd go back again if in the area.


  1. Those old buildings are so interesting. We could walk around there all day and not get tired of looking at them. And the fishing just takes the area over the top!

    1. Yes we love to see them too. We really lucked out on some hot fishing. Both lakes and streams!

  2. What a cool spot...love the old ghost towns. Great pics!
    Safe travels!

    1. I really like to see them when there are several buildings in such great shape.

  3. Good to see Steve finally came to his senses and climbed into a Ford. 😉

  4. The ghost town is quite well preserved. I would also enjoy spending the day looking through them. What it must've been like to live there...

    1. Very well preserved. I like it when you can walk through the buildings. The mine tour was very interesting as well.

  5. Love these nuggets of history scattered around the country.

    1. It was nice to take the drive as well as walking through the old buildings.

  6. Cool pictures. Love looking at old stuff.

    1. You always wonder who touched this years and years ago? So much history.


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