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Virginia City Historic District

Virginia City, Montana
County of Madison.
Wallace Street
National Register Number: 66000435
Resource type: District.
Property type: Historic District: Historical. The threat level was Watch in
Congressional District: MT-at-Large Certified Local Government: YES
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: Town; www.edheritage.org/heritagecommission; 406-843-5247.
Web Site: montana.avicom.net/virginiacity.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 4, 1961):
Virginia City was the territorial capital of Montana (1865-75) and the site of one of the greatest gold strikes in the West (1863). Today it seems a classic Western ghost town, with many false-fronted buidings which are open as museums. More than two hundred historic buildings and some one million authentic artifacts of its history remain.

Progress has been made in preserving this National Historic Landmark. The Montana Heritage Commission has a draft five-year strategic plan which includes strategies for the preservation and use of structures in the NHL. The town of Virginia City was designated a Preserve America Community and will be applying for funding support for future interpretive projects. The NHL is facing developmental pressures, but most new owners are sensitive to the historic importance of Virginia City and attempting to develop in a complementary manner.

In 2006, the National Park Service awarded the town of Virginia City a Challenge Cost-Share grant ($29,640) for assistance in the development of an interpretive trail through the NHL. The Montana Heritage Commission has received funding to address immediate preservation needs for historic properties under their ownership.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
This site will continue to need monitoring to watch for incompatible development. There is increasing developmental pressures in areas outside the boundaries. The private sector is very much interested in acquiring historic structures which will need to be monitored to ensure that any rehabilitation is done in a sensitive manner and following appropriate guidelines. Presently, many historic structures are used only on a seasonal basis due to the difficulties associated with winter-time occupancy. To make these structures available for year-around occupancy would require the expenditure of many millions of dollars.

Comments and questions about the database may be directed to NHL_info@nps.gov