Virginia City Montana - Old West Mining Town

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Virginia City Montana

Virginia City, about 65 miles from Bozeman, Montana, is an historic old west Victorian gold mining town, known for its rough mining camp where vigilantes organized to fight crime.

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  • Virginia City housed Montana's first public school, newspaper and first published book in Montana.
  • Boardwalks, mechanical music machines, a penny arcade, antique cars and a two-story outhouse add to Virginia City’s Old West ambience.
  • Each August, guests attend a Grand Ball in costume after classes on Victorian customs and dances.


When gold was discovered in 1863 in Virginia City, Montana during the Civil War, the town grew quickly to more than 10,000 residents and became the Territorial Capital in 1865. Virginia City housed the state's first public school, first newspaper and is where the first book in Montana was published.

Today, Virginia City’s main street is an engaging preservation of commercial architecture from the late 1800s with 150 buildings certified by the Montana Historical Society; these original buildings contain merchandise and items used in the gold rush. Largely due to the preservation efforts of Charles and Sue Bovey, boardwalks, mechanical music machines, a penny arcade, antique automobiles and a two-story outhouse add to Virginia City’s Old West ambience.


Virginia City, Montana, rests in the Rocky Mountains in a bowl along Alder Gulch, about 90 miles west of Yellowstone National Park, near Bozeman, Montana.


From Bozeman, drive south on I-91 to MT-84 W/Norris Road, turning left at US HWY 287 and turn right at Van Buren Street into Virginia City.


  • Heritage Days & Victorian Ball
    Each August, guests attend a Grand Ball in period costume after attending classes on customs and Victorian dances.
  • Opera House
    Virginia City Players' 19th-century entertainment delights visitors and operates the oldest continuously functioning summer stock theater west of the Mississippi. Check with the Chamber of Commerce for show schedule.
  • Brewery Follies
    Have a drink at Montana's first brewery, the H. S. Gilbert Brewery, and take in a Brewery Follies Players’ performance.
  • Museums, Shops, Accommodations
    Virginia City highlights shopping, dining and sleeping, all in the spirit of the 1860s.
  • Alder Gulch Short Line
    Take the train to Nevada City on a real, narrow-gauge railroad traveling between two mining camps on the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad. At Nevada City, visit the Alder Gulch Short Line Steam Railroad Museum and its gold rush era collection.

More Information

Virginia City Montana Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 218
Virginia City, MT 59755