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Garnet Ghost Town
Missoula Montana Historic Site

NameGarnet Ghost Town
AddressGarnet Preservation Association
3255 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
Brief Description1890s gold-mining community in western Montana
CategoryHistoric Site
DescriptionLocated in the mountains of Granite County, Montana, about 45 miles east of Missoula, Garnet Ghost Town tells the story of bringing civilization to Montana, of the imagination it takes to create wealth in a difficult land, and of the perseverance whole families needed to survive in a harsh environment. Garnet’s story is different from the earlier Montana mining communities such as Bannack and Virginia City. Though placer mining began in the area in the 1860s, it wasn’t until relatively late, in the mid-1890s, that entrepreneurs brought to Garnet the industrial equipment needed for hard-rock mining. Soon, an isolated metropolis of over 1,000 souls sprang up. Miners brought their families up the long steep grade from the Northern Pacific stop at Bearmouth. Businesses thrived on a busy main street. More than 50 children went to school in the schoolhouse, and a miners’ union – one of Montana’s first unions – established itself.

But, by the onset of World War I, after the men had removed 60,000 ounces of gold, 50,000 ounces of silver, and 60,000 ounces of copper, the rich veins of minerals became harder and harder to find. Most veins abruptly ended in a fault line. The town began shrinking. There was a brief resurgence during the Great Depression when President Roosevelt doubled the price of gold, but Garnet unofficially became a ghost town with the death of Frank Davey, the mercantile owner, in 1947.
Phone 1(406) 329-3883
Phone 2(406) 329-3914
Handicapped AccessibleYes
Time Allowancetwo hours at the ghost town, travel time
Last Updated6/5/2008
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Garnet Ghost Town - Missoula, MT 59804
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