Ghosts of Garnet, Montana

Ghosts of Garnet, Montana
Garnet, Montana was built as a temporary town for the miners flooding in from California and Colorado. Amazingly, over a century after it was created, there are still parts of the of the ghost town remaining, high in the Garnet Mountain Range, in a valley near First Chance Creek. There are also many stories that past residents of the old town remain as well.

In the late 1890s, the little town contained “four stores, four hotels, three livery sables, two barber shops, a union hall, a school with 41 students, a butcher shop, a candy shop, a doctor’ office, an assay office, and thirteen saloons.”

What is left of the little town is currently maintained by The Garnet Preservation Association in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.

According to Garnet historian, Ellen Baumler, visitors to the town as well as BLM workers have glimpsed a lady standing and looking out of one of the windows on the second floor of the J. K. Wells Hotel. The sounds of footsteps and doors opening and closing are heard in the hotel as well.

Piano music, the sounds of dancing and men’s voices are often heard late at night in the building once known as “Kelley’s Saloon.” If a “human hand touches the building, the noises stop.”

Entities wearing clothing from the 1800s can be seen walking through the streets of the ghost town. Even footprints can be seen in the snow “leading into buildings” but none can be seen coming out of the buildings.

Baumler warns, “anyone who visits the deserted town in the dead of winter should be prepared to meet them. They hide in the shadows, laugh in the wind, and come out when you least expect them.”

Interestingly, visitors are encouraged by the BLM to visit Garnet and to live and work as a volunteer in the town.

References and Additional Information:
Baumler, Ellen. Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghost and Hauntings. Helena, Montana: Farcountry Press, 2009.

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