Street Address
700 W. Wallace
Virginia City, MT 59755
Mailing Address
PO Box 338
Virginia City, MT 59755
phone: 406-843-5247
e-mail: dthyer@mt.gov
web: virginiacitymt.com
Hours
Daily10 AM - 6 PM
Our last day of operation for the regular season is September 16,2012. We will open October 26 and 27 for All Hallows Eve in Nevada City. Be sure to join us for a scary good time!
Admissions

River of Gold: $10 per bucket

Family Day Pass: $69; Includes Train Ride, River of Gold (2 buckets) and entrance to the Nevada City Museum

Family Season Pass: $99; Includes Train Ride, River of Gold (2 buckets) and entrance to the Nevada City Museum

Senior Pass for Two: $35; Includes Train Ride, River of Gold (1 bucket) and entrance to the Nevada City Museum

Individual Senior Pass: $20; Includes Train Ride, River of Gold (1 bucket) and entrance to the Nevada City Museum

Our season pass is good for unlimited use from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and includes the Lantern Tours.

Adults: $8
Seniors: $6
Youth (6-16): $6
Children 5 and under 5: Free
Groups of 6 or more people: $6
Services
Gift Shop
Cafe/Restaurant
Group Tours
Staff
Elijah Allen, Operations Manager
phone: 406-843-5247 x208
Dan Thyer, Curator of Living History
phone: 406-843-5247 x206

Description

Our outdoor living history museum in Nevada City, Montana, houses one of the largest collections of old west artifacts outside the Smithsonian. The site consists of one hundred, 1863 to early 1900 buildings, and close to 40 Living History Interpreters. 14 original buildings from Historic Nevada City remain on site, many other era structures were moved to the site by Bovey Restorations, and placed on the street plan of Nevada City. The Museum is open to visitors from mid-May - mid-September, Living History weekends are held Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend all summer long, by professionally trained living historians. The Montana Heritage Commission's Living History Program uses exhibits and artifacts to helps you experience the culture, time and place engaging all of your senses as you discover early Montana

Events are historically researched, and accurately portrayed. In Nevada City, you will discover what it was like to live in a frontier mining town. Work with the blacksmith, visit with the sawyer, help with an old time recipe in one of the cabins, or just sample a taste of the past. Take time out of your fast paced life to "Step Into Montana's Past," and visit a town brought to life every weekend by our costumed interpreters. Our interpreters representing the 1863 - 1865 territorial days will help guide your experience, and help you learn about Montana's heritage first hand.

Nevada City Interpreters portray daily life and special events as they happened focusing on the Idaho to Montana Territorial transistion phase. In Nevada City you can attend a miner's court trial, witness a vigilante hanging, or the murder of a local deputy. Join us in celebrations of our country's freedom on the 4th of July, play a game of grace's or try your hand at saloon games of the 1860's.

You can assist one of our historic trades people as you learn about the General Mercantile stores, do the laundry, attend school, work with the blacksmith, or help prepare a meal on a wood stove in one of the cabins. Our first person interpreters talk about their lives as they portray historic Alder Gulch characters, and discuss different aspects of their lives and roles in the area during our Past Meets Present programs. When you step into Nevada City, we want you to step into another era, the sights, sounds, and smells, of the past.

Mission

That through education and interpretation, augmented by hands-on experiences, visitors can learn the value of preserving their heritage, and bring the past alive.

History

Archaeological evidence found between the Music Hall and the Nevada City Hotel would indicate earlier than mining era habitation, possibly by white hunters or trappers. The earliest white hunters and trappers in the area had no conscious intention of establishing a city on the site, because the existence of a city would have presumably destroyed their economic base, which was based on the harvesting of beaver.

Nevada City, settled on June 9, 1863, was a contemporary in settlement with Virginia City, however it was the first to become an incorporated city. On February 9, 1865, it fully constituted a body corporate and politic. The early city limits of Nevada City started 400 feet west of W. R. Lockwood's house in Central City then went south ? mile, West 1 ? mile, and then south to the place of beginning. (Leeson's History of Montana 1735-1885). Many of the early inhabitants moved on to other sites. In 1896, the Conrey Placer Mining Company was organized to dredge the gulch for the next 24 years, destroying many of Nevada City's buildings.

The dredges were then disassembled and the heavy wooden barges were left to slowly be reclaimed by nature. Other original Nevada City buildings were destroyed when the highway was built through the area. Over the years 14 original structures were preserved and remain in Nevada City, the majority of the buildings present today, were moved in to the Nevada City Street plan by Charlie Bovey, of Bovey Restorations. Restoration started in the 1950s, following his purchase of the property from the Stiles family. Nevada City was one of numerous settlements established along Alder Gulch, 1 1/2 miles from Virginia City, including the camps of Summit, Adobetown, Central City, and Junction scattered up and down the gulch for some 14 miles, known as Fourteen-mile City.

Today the town is managed by the Montana Heritage Commission, Department of Commerce, State of Montana. Businesses in the town include the Nevada City Living History Museum, Alder Gulch Accommodations, Nevada City Hotel and Cabins, The River of Gold, The Star Bakery, and the Nevada City Hotel Coffee Shop. The town has been restored as an outdoor living history historical museum, linked by railroad to the Virginia City Historic District with numerous historic buildings, artifacts, and furnishings. The site includes 108 historic buildings from various parts of Montana, 14 original Nevada City structures.

Nevada CIty is also home to North America's largest collection of automated music machines which can be found in the Nevada City Music Hall. Nevada City was populated by placer miners working several mining districts including Browns Gulch just south of the town and Granite Creek, about two miles northwest of Nevada City. Nevada City was occupied by residents as early as June 1863, and its boom era was between 1863-1875, at this point it was boasted that Nevada City was home to dozens of stores and housing that stretched for six blocks. Famous Trials On December 19, 1863 a miners' court trial took place. The trial was for the murder of Nicholas Tbalt, a Dutchman. George Ives was convicted and in less than an hour he was hung in the middle of town while nearly 2,000 residents watched.

Artifacts Collections

The Nevada City Music Hall houses the largest public collection of automated music machines in North America. Charles and Sue Bovey began collecting the machines in the 1940's, bringing together a unique assortment of antiques like no other collection anywhere. Many of these machines are still in great working order, while others are being restored in partnership with AMICA's (Automated Musical Instrument Collector's Association) Adopt-A-Piano program. Nevada City collections include historic wagons, Mercantile stores with contents, blacksmith, wheelwright shop, historic houses, cabins, dry goods, school house,living collections.

Educational Programs

We portray daily life and special events as they happened, in Alder Gulch, that lead to the development from Idaho to Montana Territory following the gold discovery. In Nevada City you can attend a miner's court trial, witness a vigilante hanging, or the murder of a local deputy. Join us in celebrations of our country's freedom on the 4th of July, play a game of grace's or try your hand at saloon games of the 1860's.

Located in the wilderness of Idaho Territory, Nevada City had no courts or statutes miners established mining districts, passed their own laws and elected officials. Everything from mining trials to murder trials fell within the jurisdiction of the miners' courts. Nevada City's main street was the setting for the Trial of George Ives for the brutal murder of the young Dutchman, Nicholas Thiebalt. Attend the colorful George Ives Trial and Hanging, where miners are judge, jury and executioners.

You can assist one of our historic trades people as you learn about the General Mercantile stores, do the laundry, attend school, work with the blacksmith, or help prepare a meal on a wood stove in one of the cabins. Our first person interpreters talk about their lives as they portray historic Alder Gulch characters, and discuss different aspects of their lives and roles in the area during our Past Meets Present programs. When you step into Nevada City, we want you to step into another era, the sights, sounds, and smells, of the past.

    Facilities

    Performance Areas

    Governance

    22-3-1001. Purpose. The purpose of this part is to acquire and manage, on behalf of the state, properties that possess outstanding historical value, display exceptional qualities worth preserving, are genuinely representative of the state's culture and history, and demonstrate the ability to become economically self-supporting. The Montana heritage preservation and development commission shall achieve this purpose by purchasing fee title interests in real and personal property and by managing those properties in a manner that protects the properties and encourages economic independence

    ADA

    Handicapped accessibility may be limited do to the restriction of entranceways on some of the historic buildings.

    Wheelchair Accessible

    Parking

    Restrooms

    Services

    Gift Shop

    Restaurant

    Group Tours