July 27, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
A tour guide (left) gives a golf panning demonstration
for the girl scout visitors.
Writer Donna Love, at right, with Michaela Dunlap at the Lubrecht
Experimental Forest turn-off, which is near the turn-off for Garnett.
by Donna Love
Seeley Lake Girl Scout Troop 255, consisting of Michaela Dunlap, Stormie Kelly, and Laura Love, held a Girl Scout Day at Garnet Ghost Town in June. 27 girls from western Montana, along with troop leaders and several parents came from as far away as Charlo and Great Falls to take part in the day's activities. Troops took guided tours of the town and viewed a gold panning demonstration by the Bureau of Land Management who now manages the town.
The troops enjoyed the town, which is Montana's most intact ghost town. It was a booming gold mining town in the late 1800's with a population of 1000. It had a short-lived revival in the early 1900's when gold prices soared. The town had a dozen saloons, numerous hotels, brothels, and stores. The girls liked seeing the jail, which in its history was only used once to house a disruptive bar-goer. They also enjoyed seeing the school, the hotel, blacksmith shop and the Honeymoon Cabin, which was a very small cabin that the town gave to a newlywed couple to use for a year. At the end of the year a new couple would move in.
After a picnic lunch, the day ended with a tour of Lubrecht Experimental Forest, the University of Montana Forestry School's Experimental Forest located near Garnet Ghost Town. The experimental forest has several self-guided walking tours with well-marked informational signs that discuss the various aspects of forestry.
Garnet Ghost Town is located off Highway 200 at Greenough Hill, 22 miles east of Missoula.