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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 06/05/14
Contacts: David Abrams , 406-533-7617 ,

Wedding, ghost stories, old-fashioned games highlight annual Garnet Day

MISSOULA (June 5, 2014) – The re-enactment of an 1890’s-style wedding, ghost stories, and old-fashioned games make this year’s Garnet Day one of the liveliest the town has seen in years.

The annual event, hosted by the Garnet Preservation Association and the Bureau of Land Management, brings the ghost town to life June 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. At high noon, visitors can participate in a mock wedding in front of the historic Davey’s Store. Other activities throughout the day include a watermelon-eating contest, a pie auction, gold-panning, music provided by local fiddlers, and old-fashioned children’s games.

Noted Montana historian and author Ellen Baumler will be on hand to talk about the Chinese in Montana at 11 a.m. and to tell ghost stories at 1 p.m. on the hill behind Davey’s Store.

Another highlight of the day’s family-friendly festivities is the ice cream social which was an annual event 100 years ago in Garnet. Lunch will also be available for purchase on site.

The day’s events are designed to give families a fun, wild-west experience in one of Montana’s most intact ghost towns, located 35 miles east of Missoula.

“I’m really excited for this year’s speaker, and to see the new activities that the Garnet Preservation Association has planned,” said Maria Craig, Outdoor Recreation Planner with the BLM’s Missoula Field Office.

Visitors will be charged the standard usage fee of $3; no admission is charged for those 15 and younger.

More than 100 years ago, Garnet was an active gold-mining town, but after a fire destroyed many of the buildings and as the gold became more difficult to mine, the once prosperous town slowly went into a deep sleep until its last full-time resident passed away in 1947. The ghost town is now publicly owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office.

To reach Garnet from Highway 200, turn south on the Garnet Range Road between mile markers 22 and 23 and travel about 11 miles to Garnet Ghost Town.

Visitors using I-90 should take the Bearmouth or Drummond exit, then take the Frontage Road to Bear Gulch. Garnet is 10 miles north on Bear Gulch Road. The Bear Gulch Route is steeper and not suitable for towing units.

For more information on the event, contact the BLM’s Missoula Field Office at (406) 329-3914.

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Missoula Field Office   3255 Fort Missoula Road      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 06-05-2014