Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bannack Days - Stepping Back In Time

We took a road trip today, back in time.


Our destination was Bannack, Montana, an abandoned gold town, and at one time, the first capital of territorial Montana. For most of the year, it is a peaceful, quite, but easily accessed, and user friendly, ghost town.


On the third weekend of each July however, it comes alive with park rangers, reenactors, shop keepers, and tourists, during the Bannack Days Celebration.




We have visited Bannack before, but never during Bannack Days. It was an interesting experience. Many of the buildings have been maintained, and painstakingly restored to usefulness, such as the school...


...and the church, which today held two services. We paused at the door momentarily, to join in a couple of the hymns, before moving on to take in some old fashioned donuts...




...gold panning, candle making, horseback rides for the older children...


...and a horse drawn "wagon" ride for the younger ones.

The children enjoyed playing in the schoolyard...


...and staked out a house for us.


We laughed at the mix of new, and old - the prairie women at the port-a-pots, and the cowboy selling snow cones. At first, the inconsistencies seemed wrong, but the overall effect, was to see the town as a living, breathing place. The sort of place you might live in today. And, it worked.


The gun fight might have been fake, but the rattlesnake on the horse trail was real, and so were the people who built the buildings, and staked out their claims, hoping for fortune, in Montana's not so distant past.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

6 comments:

Debbie said...

I love traveling through ghost towns and visiting old homesteads. If we get a decent end to our summer I want to go back up in the rain forest and get pictures of the homestead up there. This doesn't compare to the ones of Montana however. I can see you all had a great time!

April Mitchell said...

Wow! What a fun fieldtrip. We love going to those old west-y towns. We went to Oatman, AZ last year, like stepping back in time.

Ticia said...

I love reenactments like that. How incredibly fun is that? I need to take my kiddos to the local farm like that soon.

Marcee said...

that sounds like a great adventure!! We visited some ghost towns when we were in Idaho, from the gold rush days. No show or anything though.

Raising a Happy Child said...

I am looking forward to eventually attending one of those "living history" events. They always seemed cheesy to me, but I can see that they must be fascinating for children.

Cassie said...

I remember going to a place like that when I was younger and I loved it! You're making such great memories with them!