MT Ghost Town Preservation Society

The nonprofit Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society was founded in 1969 by four concerned Bozeman men who sensed the value of Montana’s ghost towns and were aware of the rapid rate at which they were disappearing. The goal of the Society was defined "to preserve and maintain ghost towns and historic sites in the state of Montana, and to develop an appreciation of the cultural benefits in the sites, buildings, and artifacts that are part of the living museum formed from the beginnings of Montana." Membership now includes 200 people from many states across the nation.
More than 600 mining camps and towns existed at some time in Montana's past. Most were temporary encampments with shelter provided by tents, shacks, lean-tos and quickly built log cabins. Evidence of many of these camps vanished almost as quickly as they had appeared when their inhabitants followed rumors of other strikes.
The ghosts of many other towns remained essentially undisturbed for years due to their often isolated locations. However, increased mobility of people after WW II increased the human impact on ghost towns. That impact became most acute beginning in the late '60s when weathered wood came into vogue for paneling in homes and businesses.
Preservation by the Society takes two forms—informational and physical. The Society makes continuing efforts to inform the public and elected officials of the urgent need to save the physical evidence of our past—before weather and/or vandals destroy it forever. A quarterly newsletter and annual meetings help members stay informed. In addition, members have testified before State legislative committees to obtain needed restoration funds and have given talks and slide presentations to various groups. Physical, hands-on projects have included:

Granite:researched and obtained title to Miners Union Hall and Superintendent Weir’s house; title was then presented to the Parks division of Fish, Wildlife and Parks; volunteers restored the roof on Supt. Weir's House; unfortunately, the Union Hall was lost to weather before work could be done on it.
Elkhorn: performed structural analysis and assisted financially to obtain Fraternity Hall and the adjacent Saloon for a state park site.
Gallatin City: stabilized the hotel.
Parker Homestead: (near Three Forks): testimony helped obtain funds for purchase; members were involved in Homestead "clean-up days."

The Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society welcomes new membership.
See the Web site at www.ghosttown.montana.com.
Send mail to P.O Box 1861, Bozeman, MT, 59771, or call 406.522.3856 for more information.
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