Thursday, October 25, 2018

Granite, Montana Ghost Town

I knew that Bruce Gregory and Stephen Johnson would enjoy Granite, Montana based on my visit there in 2005 with my wife and our neighbors.  So, Granite was one of our destinations on our summer camping trip.

There was a silver bonanza in the 1880’s on Granite Mountain, and soon the mountaintop was packed with buildings.  The centerpiece was the magnificent Miner’s Union Hall, now a big brick ruin.  The elegant building once had a dance floor / auditorium, lodge room, office, library, and more.

Mae Werning’s house is down the street.  She was the watchman and last resident of Granite and died in 1969 at age 75.  Most houses now are just piles of lumber or overgrown rock foundations.

Granite Mills A and B together ran 80 stamps until the 1890’s.  In the 1950’s the buildings were intentionally burned for safety reasons, leaving these gigantic foundations.

Just down the road along the face of the mountain ruined structures of the Ruby Mine are on the verge of collapse.
Granite has some of the biggest ghost town structures we have found on our camping trips.  It is amazing to think about what it was like to live and work here more than a century ago.
I hope you enjoy these photos, but please be aware that they are copyrighted and can not be used for any purpose without permission and reasonable compensation.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Elkhorn, Montana Ghost Town

I am still trying to catch up on reviewing photos from our annual camping trip to Montana.  So, here are photos of Elkhorn, Montana, one of five ghost towns we visited in July.

 This silver mining town was established in 1872 and had a peak population of about 2500.  Now the population is 10, but I’ll bet most of them are part time residents.

The big attraction for ghost town hunters is Gillian Hall (left) and the Fraternity Hall (right).  These buildings are now preserved as Montana’s smallest state park.

The National Register of Historic Places states that the Fraternity Hall (built in 1893) is perhaps the most photographed ghost town building in the United States and lists it as number 1 of 12 western structures that should be saved.  This room was used for dances, meetings, and theatrical shows.

Elkhorn is a mix of abandoned and restored buildings.

The beautiful cemetery is on a quiet isolated hillside.  A large number of children were buried there after a diphtheria epidemic in 1888 - 1889.

Mining relics and ruins are scattered around, but most are in areas posted “no trespassing”.  The mines opened and closed several times and were finally closed for good in 1937 after producing about $14 million of silver.  Except for the two Halls, most of the town is private property but can be photographed from the road.

Please be aware that these photos are copyrighted.  If you would like to use them for any reason, please contact me.  My fees are very reasonable, and often free for charitable purposes.