Elkhorn Ghost Town Public Halls - Montana
Elkhorn was a mining town located in the rural mountains of western Montana. It was mostly mined by European Immigrants and their familes. Life was difficult and in the late 1880's a Diptheria Epidemic wiped out many of their children. Their graves can be seen in the town cemetery.
The community built these public spaces in the 1880's for necessity and entertainment. Gillian Hall on the left was probably a store and saloon with a meeting and dance hall on the second floor. On the side of the building, notice the remnant of a staircase. Women and children were not allowed in saloons, so an exterior staircase allowed them access to safer parts of the building.
On the right is the Gothic-Style Fraternity Hall, built around the same time. It is one of the most unique and rare architectural structures of the frontier era. The bottom floor has a stage where musicians and actors entertained town people. It is so spacious that even a prize fight was held within. In one incident, two dancers got into a brawl over what kind of music the band should play. The square dancer shot the waltzer dead and was drug out and hanged for it. Upstairs is a spacious dance and meeting hall.
July 8th, 2012
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