Montana Department of Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote joined Heritage Commission members and staff of Virginia and Nevada Cities on Saturday to kick off the summer season and celebrate 20 years of successful management.
In 1997, the Legislature created the Heritage Commission to manage some of the historic sites at Virginia City, Nevada City, and Helena’s Reeder’s Alley.
“I grew up visiting the old mining towns and it’s remarkable to see just how far the Heritage Commission has come in restoring and preserving this part of our history,” Director Haxby-Cote said. “Virginia and Nevada Cities are truly a gem that give visitors a glimpse at what Montana was like during the beginning of the gold rush.”
The 14-member commission is credited with restoring additional sites in the historic towns, curating artifacts, and hosting living history events for visitors.
Virginia City and Nevada City were pioneer mining camps settled in 1863. Virginia City was Montana’s territorial capital from 1864-1875. Both towns feature original buildings, an old-West boardwalk, and family actives such as gold panning, theater shows and train rides.