NPS bar for print

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Virginia City Historic District

Virginia City Historic District

Virginia City Historic District, Montana

In 1863, Virginia City was the site of one of the greatest gold strikes in the West. Within weeks, it turned into a boomtown and became the first capital of the Montana Territory from 1865-75. Virginia City was home to the first public school, social clubs, newspaper, and many other Montana "firsts." Today it seems a classic Western ghost town, with many false-fronted buildings that are open as museums. Thanks to a $300,000 Save America’s Treasures grant to repair the town in 2001 and continued rehabilitation by the state, it is Montana’s liveliest ghost town with about 150 year-round residents. More than 200 historic buildings and some one million authentic artifacts of its history remain. Virginia City is an outdoor living history museum, and one of the largest national historic landmark districts in Montana.

Photo: Virginia City Historic District

Learn More