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Photographer's Note

This old house is one of over 60 structures that are still standing in this community that was once home to over 10,000 people. Preserved in an arrested state of decay many of the homes and businesses are open to the public allowing you to peek into the life and history of this place.

By some accounts, Bannack is one of the legendary ghost towns of America. The area was first explored by Lewis and Clark in 1805. Later prospectors began moving into the area looking for gold when in 1862 a man named John White and other members of a group called the “Pikes Peakers” discovered gold in the nearby creek named Willard creek (eventually renamed Grasshopper because of the proliferation of the insects found there). The gold found was among the purest found anywhere and unlike other gold. Grasshopper Creek’s gold was 99-99.5%. Soon word was out and the rush began.

By 1863 over 3,000 people called Bannack home and scores of miners, outlaws, profiteers and opportunist had staked their claims. Eventually the gold was traced to the mother lode where the hard rock miners took over. By 1870 the majority of the gold had been removed and people began to leave in search of new opportunities. Over the next 80 yrs new technologies evolved with several waves of gold production, until finally in about 1950, the last miners put away there picks, shovels and pans.

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Additional Photos by Ned Messerschmidt (nmess) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 558 W: 78 N: 414] (2301)
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