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Marysville: A Real American Ghost Town

Located in the scenic Rocky Mountains ...A stone's throw from the Continental Divide

Marysville

Blasting quickly towards the Twentieth Century, Marysville was a small but booming mining town… and on the fast track to success. During the 1880's and 90's, Marysville was one of Montana's leading gold producers and the population quickly grew to over 4,000 people in the immediate area.

Sullivan HouseFebruary 1881 saw the opening of the Marysville Post Office and soon, many new small businesses began to spring up all around the area. During the next fifteen years, the town would boast not one, but several, well stocked dry-good outlets, grocery and drug stores, confectionaries, competing quality restaurants, boot and shoe shops, a bank, tailor shops, a couple of livery stables, jewelry shops, a lumber yard, fresh garden and meat markets, a new furniture store, grain stores, and a bakery. As the town rushed into the future, the later 1880's saw construction of the town's electric company. The opera house was soon fitted with new electric lights, courtesy of Mr. Edison, and the town seemed to prosper.

Into the mid-1890's, there were two convention halls, hardware stores, a tin shop, various weekly newspapers, plus at least a dozen saloons and bars. There were also three churches, several lodges, black smith shops and even two doctors. To deal with the influx of visitors, over half-dozen hotels; including the Peterson and Drumlummon Hotels were built. A school would eventually be constructed which saw over 250 children. Western Union, regular train and stage services were all in full operation by 1894.

Unfortunately, the turn of the century found this small mining community unable to keep the mining operations functioning. Whatever the cause, it was around this time that the town started to break apart, loosing population and many businesses. Marysville fell to the same consequence as with other small mining communities of the time. They were short lived.

Wood StructureCommunity Events...

The Marysville of the 1890's included local activities. A few of them were more socially acceptable than others, in the small town with a brewery and several well used saloons. The local churches provided more conventional outlets. Ice Cream Socials, Strawberry Festivals and Garden Parties were among the short list of acceptable local activities.

Another popular event was the Drilling Contest. Miners from all around would compete for the World's Drilling Record. One such event was reported to have drawn thousands of people to the area. For many, the best entertainment was most likely within the walls of the many saloons in Marysville.

From time to time, the Marysville School would sponsor Speaking and Spelling Contests. The usual entertainment consisted of domino parties, dancing classes, candy pulls and occasional concerts by the Marysville Brass Band.

Undeniably the most popular annual event of the time was the 4th of July Celebration. People were attracted from all over the area for the day-long party. Visitors and townspeople alike would spend the day in games and races. They would dance to the music reverberating from McKindrick's Hall. It should be noted that surprisingly, very little public intoxication was reported at these events - a day which also saw few fights. McKindrick's Hall was even host to a documented boxing match in 1893.

Based solely on dates from the numerous headstones, the cemetery was started in the early 1890's. There are many sunken and unmarked graves, scattered around a beautiful countryside. Maybe even a few ghosts still linger in this area, as well. Several miners were killed in mining disasters, such as the explosion and underground fire at the Belmont Mine in 1891.

It is a real certainty that Marysville is a ghost town with an interesting history and worthy of the time to visit.

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Marysville History Drumlummon Mine Lewis and Clark in the Area
Marysville History Drumlummon Mine Lewis and Clark in the Area