Virginia City, Montana and beyond

Virginia City is a town in and the county seat of Madison County, Montana, United States.[1] In 1961, the town and the surrounding area was designated a National Historic Landmark District, the Virginia City Historic District. The population was 130 at the 2000 census. In May 1863, a group of prospectors were headed towards the Yellowstone River and instead came upon a party of the Crow tribe and were forced to return to Bannack. Gold was discovered on the retreat trip when Bill Fairweather stuck a pick near Alder Creek joking he might find something to fund some tobacco. The prospectors could not keep the site a secret. They were followed on their return to the gold bearing site and set up the town in order to formulate rules about individual gold claims. On June 16, 1863 under the name of “Verina” the township was formed a mile south of the gold fields. The name was meant to honor Varina Howell Davis, first and only First Lady of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Verina, although in Union territory, was founded by men whose loyalties were thoroughly Confederate. Upon registration of the name, a Connecticut judge, GG Bissell, objected to their choice and recorded it as Virginia City. In 1864, the Montana Territory was carved out of Idaho Territory. Virginia City, claiming 10000 citizens, was made the capital of the new territory in 1865. The first public school was built in 1866, but already the most easily accessible gold from placer

Comments are closed.