Vigilante Vintage Antique Collection
Alder Gulch, in the Idaho Territory, was the site of the richest placer gold strike in the Rocky Mountains. In the early 1860s, an estimated $30 million worth of gold was removed from the gulch. The town of Virginia City, the gulches principle settlement, moved quickly to become the largest city in the territory. The famed Bozeman Trail brought over 12,000 residents to the area, peaking in 1868.
Virginia City's population collapsed to only a few hundred in the 1870s, when the gold ran out. Still, Virginia City had enough homes and businesses to keep the community alive. So it froze in time, with many of the main street business still having merchandise on the shelves and wagons in the barns! Interest in preserving and memorializing the history of Virginia City began in 1899, via the Montana Historical Society.
Today, Virginia City is considered the best preserved example of an 1860’s placer mining camp in the Rocky Mountain West. Artwestimage.com photographers visited Virginia City in July of 2018, focusing their lenses on structures and merchandise artifacts from town exhibits. Our staff has designed this collection of 19 vintage-themed HDR images for your viewing and purchase.