We drove the Bannack Scenic Byway today and visited the Old Bannack Ghost Town. This is our favorite so far. Our first stop was at the visitors center to pick up a map with walking directions and details about the buildings. We took the tour and were able to see inside many of them. Some were not open to the public. The cost per car was only $5. This even included all the gold mining pans of dirt you wanted to work through. I thought Jerry would never stop. :-) We didn't find any gold, but we did find a lot of beautiful garnets.
Bannack was founded in 1862 and named after the local Bannock Indians, it was the site of a major gold discovery in 1862, and served as the capital of Montana Territory briefly in 1864, until the capital was moved to Virginia City. Bannack continued as a mining town, though with a dwindling population. The last residents left in the 1970s.
Sixty historic log and frame structures remain standing in Bannack, many quite well-preserved. The site, now the Bannack Historic District, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The town is presently the site of Bannack State Park.
After touring the town, we visited the old cemetery. It was a fascinating tour and we enjoyed it much.