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Garnet Ghost Town





Location: Granite County, Montana  Map

Found: 1860s




Garnet Ghost Haunting

Garnet, Montana is a ghost town found near a golden deposit that was discovered here in 1862. Construction of railroad through the area greatly increased profitability of golden extraction. Two boom- bust cycles occurred in Garnet in 1883-93 and 1898-1904 with the highest number of residents reaching 3000. In 1912 declining Garnet was hit by a great fire. Whatever survived the flames were carefully preserved by Bureau of Land Management. Like any ghost town Garnet has its own share of alleged paranormal activity. This includes full body apparition of a gold miner who died in the city. A more common sight is that of a woman who was executed by Garnet officials for murdering her lover. Additionally some eyewitnesses claim to hear ghostly voices and loud music that is heard around the area of a former saloon.




In 2010, much of the area was owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and was included in its Garnet Resource Area. Architects/builders included Ole Dahl, who built Dahl Saloon (also known as Ole's and as "The Joint") and the Dahl House, Robert Moore who built Kelly's Saloon, Hugh Hannifen who built Hannifen House, Judson and Blaidsell who built the F.A. Davey Store, and John and Winifred Wells who built the Wells Hotel.

Garnet was originally named Mitchell in 1895 and had ten buildings. The main part of the town was built on the Garnet Lode. Later changing its name to Garnet, it was a rich gold mining area. 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 with 16,000 visitors annually. The annual celebration the third Saturday of each year is Garnet Day. Garnet's oldest living member, Mary Jane Adams Morin, came to visit every year.

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 the Wells hotels, Kelly Saloon, Daveys Store and many outer buildings, preserved and intact. During the 1890s, it had close to thirteen saloons (bars), as well as food stores, a barber shop, mercantile store, and three hotels. The hotels were started for passersby, 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.





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