Garnet, Montana

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Garnet's surviving commercial buildings
Several of Garnet's remaining miner's cabins

Garnet is a ghost town in Granite County, Montana, United States. Located on the dirt Wallace Creek Road, it is an abandoned mining town from the 1860s. In First Chance Creek in western Montana, the town is at the edge of the high desert in the Front Range, but sheltered in a forest. The town is at about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) elevation.

Garnet was named for the garnet, a semi-precious stone, and the first item to be mined here, although gold quickly followed. In 1898, as many as 1,000 people lived here; it was abandoned 20 years later when the gold ran out. A fire in 1912 destroyed half the town, which was never rebuilt. Supplies needed in Garnet were generally obtained from nearby Bearmouth.

Despite this, Garnet is one of the state's best preserved (and least visited) ghost towns.[1] Visitors can book tours with local guides. The best part about Garnet is Garney Day Festival which occurs in the end of June every year. Garnet's oldest living member, Mary Jane Adams Morin, came to visit every year.[2]

The nearest city is Missoula, about 20 miles (32 km) to the west. The closest city to the east is Butte, about 100 miles (160 km) away.

Garnet has everything inside of it from hotels, to 13 saloons (bars), and food stores. The hotels were started for passers-by, or people coming to pick up gold. They typically ranged from 1-3 dollars, and the poor miners who could not afford that price could sleep in the attic without any windows for a quarter. It is suspected that Garnet even had a brothel, but prices and the exact whereabouts are uncertain. Garnet was famous for its saloons, at its peak the saloons were one of the hottest spots in Garnet.

Trivia[edit]

  • Garnet was the site of a 2004 short film, Ghouls Gone Wild, by the band The International Playboys.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mellema, Valerie. "Garnet - Montana’s Best Kept Ghost Town Secret". Legends of America. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  2. ^ The Missoulian. "Mary Jane Morin". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  3. ^ International Playboys' First Movie: Ghouls Gone Wild!

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°49′31″N 113°20′20″W / 46.82528°N 113.33889°W / 46.82528; -113.33889