Bannack is a well-preserved ghost town in Beaverhead County, Montana, United States, located on Grasshopper Creek, approximately 11 miles (18 km) upstream from where Grasshopper Creek joins with the Beaverhead River south of Dillon.
The location was actually Montana’s first terrotorial capital. 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 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 brick and historic log and frame structures remain standing in Bannack, many quite well preserved; most can be explored. 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. Though not particularly popular among tourists, this site remains a favorite for natives and historians alike.But this weekend the ghost town is anything but a ghost town.
Bannack Days is taking place. The event is a celebration of Montana’s mining and pioneer history. Every year, during the third weekend of July, the abandoned town witnesses a historical reconstitution known as “Bannack Days”. For two days, Bannack State Park officials organize an event that attempts to revive the times when Bannack was a boom town, re-enacting the day by day of the miners who lived there during the gold rush. An authentic, old-timey breakfast is served in the old Meade Hotel, a building of brick (well preserved) which was for many years the seat of Beaverhead County, before Dillon, Montana, became the seat of the county
There are wagon rides,main street gunfights, old-time dancing and music. A stage coach even comes to town. One can explore the old town and imageine what it was like to be living there in the mid-1800’s.