The story so far goes like this...
The Town of Virginia City in Southwest Montana has taken on several roles over the past 150 years. In 1863, it was the location of the first significant gold strike in what would become the state of Montana. For the most part, it was the reason the vast majority of early European and American settlers moved to Montana. From 1865 to 1875, it was the Territorial Capitol of Montana. Around that time, it was also one of the most prominent cities in the Rocky Mountains with about 10,000 residents. It was also as rich as Croesus. Between 1863 and 1889, an estimated $90,000,000 in gold was mined in the area. This equates to about $40 billion (yes, with a 'b') in today's terms.
With so many people, money, and time having passed, it is no wonder that the area is chock full of history. That's both the problem and the opportunity.
The problem is that too much of this history is just sitting in old boxes, attics, basements, and storage areas. There are plans in the works to build an archive wing and that project is off and running, but the history is still at risk. In some cases, it's literally crumbling away. When it's gone, a piece of Montana and American history is gone forever.
The opportunity is that there is still time to catch it on film before it disappears. This project will produce a series of documentary vignettes of these incredible history troves. Then, we will publish these vignettes in both online venues and in community formats. Montanans and American history fans alike will respond to these documentaries and they will help us Save Montana History. That's what this project is all about. Please consider joining us by helping to fund this documentary project.
We hope you'll agree that a gift to a project like this is important for a great state, a very important piece of US history, and it would make a wonderful Father's Day gift (as well as a belated Mother's Day gift).
Thanks for watching our video and reading this story.
Note: Archive photos in the video used with the permission of and enormous gratitude to the Montana Historical Society, the Thompson Hickman Museum, and the Thompson Hickman County Library.