Virginia City is a living town of 150 year round residents who host the West's best preserved gold mining town from the 1860s. Visitors walk the same boardwalks that desperate vigilantes once patrolled. Guests are transported to a time when rowdy miners mingled in saloons and restaurants with women of negotiable affection.
View over 100 historic buildings complete with artifacts and furnishings. Ride the 1910 fully refurbished steam locomotive, the stagecoach, attend a live theater show, stay the night in a quaint historic lodging. Shop in unique gift and specialty shops. Enjoy fine dining and old-fashioned bakery and candy shop goods.
The Nevada City site, just 1.5 miles away has 14 historic buildings original to the site plus a collection of more than 100 other historic buildings saved from locations all over Montana. The town provides a great backdrop for Living History weekends available through the summer months. Visit the Nevada City Music Hall with a collection of historic music machines, gaviolis and player pianos - the largest music machine collection in the world open to the public.
The Nevada City Living History Museum Program
Relive the excitement of the Gold Rush era in Montana. The Outdoor Living History Museum in Nevada City, Montana, houses one of the largest collections of Old West artifacts outside the Smithsonian. The site consists of one hundred buildings, dating from 1863 to the early 1900s. Approximately seventy Living History interpreters are on-site to assist visitors.
Living History weekends are held throughout the summer, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. See what the old west was really like in Nevada City, Montana! Events are historically researched, and accurately portrayed. These events include interpretation of what it was like to really live in a Montana frontier town.
Take time out of your fast paced life to visit with "People of the Past". These period correct costumed interpreters will guide your experience, and teach you about Montana's early days. Many people come expecting to see Hollywood-style gunfights; this is not what happens here. Events are portrayed as they happened in Alder Gulch. There are hangings, shootings, and other exciting happenings but they are all historically interpreted and designed to reflect the way things really were. When you step into Nevada City, you will feel as if stepping into another era, with authentic sights, sounds, and smells of the past.
The Living History program consists of thematically interpreted events that follow the time line of Montana's history. There are exciting daily happenings, skilled interpreters, live demonstrators, a blacksmith, wheelwright, saloon keeper, miner's widow, laundress, prospectors, school teachers, spinners, weavers, and more. There are Victorian children's programs and interpretive talks.
Nevada City also interprets Montana's railroad history, with a 1910 Baldwin Steam Locomotive pulling the train. The train may occasionally be robbed by the Hole in the Wall Gang, just as early day Montana robberies occurred outside of Malta and Wagner.
Interpretation also extends to neighboring Virginia City. Look for The Montana Post printing press in operation, and the American Telegraphy office. The programs offered by the Montana Heritage Commission are not equaled anywhere else in the West. Plan to attend the summer Living History Program in Nevada City, Montana. See the complete Virginia City, Montana - Schedule of Events.
Virginia City and Nevada City are located approximately 80 miles from Yellowstone National Park. From West Yellowstone, Montana, take US-287 71 miles north, then Montana-287 west about ten miles. Lodging, camping, and restaurants are available.
All material in this article is provided and copyright by the Montana Heritage Commission. Please seek their permission before reproducing any of the above material. For more information on Virgina City, Nevada City, or the Montana Heritage Commission, please visit the Montana Heritage Commission's web site.