After visiting Butte, K and I took a drive down to Virginia City and Nevada City. Both are old mining ghost towns a few miles apart in the Ruby Valley. Virginia City has a few residences but Nevada City is a true preserved ghost town. They an hour and a half from Bozeman and two from Butte. Everyone has said they are one of those places you just have to go see, so we did. The drive from Butte was beautiful. We could have hopped on the interstate for awhile and dropped south, but instead we went on Highway 2 through the mountains. It was beautiful. I had never been back there. We need to see if there is any hiking back in there to check out next.
Because we came from Butte, we ended up in Nevada City first. We stopped for just a bit. You can wonder down the open shops that are on the main road, but everything else is gated off. If you like can pay to see the rest of the town and reenactments. On top of that you can take the little train ride between the two cities. We were a bit over the ghost town after touring the one at Museum of Mining earlier that morning and we were short on time so we passed on hanging out and headed to Virginia City.
Most of the little town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As you walk down the street you can read the plaque on each building explaining what it used to be and why it is important. It’s also very much a tourist town. Most buildings have operating shops, restaurants or bars in them. Some are just historic displays, set up as they would have been in the 1860’s. We wondered up and down the street checking out the different shops, galleries, and historic buildings.
We found some delicious ice cream. It’s made right there, you can watch it being churned in the barrels. K insulted the owner by saying that she was not a fan of his new flavor, but there were plenty of others she did like and the guy behind her liked the new one, so we made it out alive without spit on our cones.
Ice Cream in the making
One of the main draws for us to head to Virginia City was the Brewery Follies at the old brewery. The brewery is tucked down by the creek, off the main road. They left the interiors as is and only modified to add a little stage. Twice a day you can head down for the four person cabaret show. We were told that it was hilarious, a main reason for a “local” to go to Virginia City if you didn’t have kids. We were a bit apprehensive about how good it could really be, but it was hilarious. It was so good, we are planning on returning with a big crew of friends to see the other cast before the season ends.
We were seated right in front of the little space and they serve you drinks before and during the intermission. The actors are your bartenders, so you can’t get anything during the show. We had a great time. The small cast of two guys and girls were really funny. The musician was great as well. It was fun to sometimes watch him to see what was cracking him up this round. For the most part the skits are rehearsed, but there were spot here and there where they were clearly improving. For the most part, it was 2 hours of laughing.
I’m really glad we decided to swing through Virginia City on our way home. It is definitely one of those you gotta see it places. And I highly recommend the Follies, though not if you have kids, unless you use earmuffs.