Bannack was founded in 1862 after the discovery of gold, and was Montana’s first capitol in 1864. Its population slowly dwindled, finally being fully abandoned in the 1960s. Other than a few repairs, the town is more or less as it appeared, with no restoration, leaving a wonderful record of its different periods through the many layers of updates, of 1930s cardboard insulation on the walls covered in layer after layer of wallpaper. A town of textures, of ghosts of the past. It’s a great setup, where the buildings are all open to poke around inside (just please close to door behind you). I’ve never hit it at peak tourist season and have thoroughly enjoyed every experience when I’ve been there when you can appreciate its desolation.
Top Row, LR: Arctic Circle (a Utah based fast food chain, founded 1950). Looks like a detailed vintage neon on a much newer building. Cut down VW pickup. Ford bronco
Middle Row: Jim Bob’s Bakery and Magic Bowl, Naugahyde sign, empty sign frame
I’ve been looking now for about two years for an abandoned Silk City diner that is supposedly in storage somewhere outside Livingston. There was a photo on flickr (now gone) of it sticking out behind some trees, and almost no context. Livingston’s a network of ranches and winding dirt roads. You could look for a long time and I have. But hey, it’s gotten me onto those roads, and into some unusual places. Like behind the abandoned Melody on the road to Gardner, with this vintage trailer back behind as what I presume is part of the kitchen.
Here’s an interesting photo from my collection that I picked up in Gallatin Gateway last year. A bit of research reveals Livingston as the location. Looks like these folks had quite the road trip, 32,000 miles on a set of tires, down at least as far as Tijuana and back. I’d love to know the stores. Looks like about a 1925 Olds. If you have more info on the exact year and model, please let me know in the comments!