October 22, 2017

The Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, Philipsburg, Montana

Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, Philipsburg, Montana, Montana Vacation Blog

The Granite County Museum and Cultural Center is located in the former Courtney Hotel on South Sansome Street in Philipsburg, Montana. The museum was founded in 1991, thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers and the generous donations of many people. The main floor of the building was completely remodeled to provide museum display space, a community center, and a gift shop. The museum is currently operated by volunteers who donate time to build the displays, give tours of the exhibits, and greet guests. The price of admission is $4.00 for adults and is free for children under the age of 12.

Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, Philipsburg, Montana, Montana Vacation Blog

The main floor of the museum allows visitors to view a continuously evolving display of historical exhibits, including photos, clothing, and other belongings of former residents of Granite County. Downstairs there is a mural of a mining community, complete with an assay office, a bank with a coin collection found beneath a miner’s cabin, and a reconstructed miner’s cabin.

In the 1860’s, Granite County was home to one of the richest silver strikes in the country. In 1996, a replica of an underground silver mine was built in the museum. The simulated mine shaft and drift is realistic and includes a compressor, a hoist house, several ore cars, and various other pieces of mining equipment. The exhibit is intended to give the visitor a glimpse into the daily routine of a turn-of-the-century underground miner in Granite County. In addition to the shaft, the exhibit allows a look inside a miner’s cabin to see how the early prospectors lived, and it allows an observation of a fire assay lab where ore samples were analyzed and processed to determine the mineral and precious metal content.

The Granite County Museum & Cultural Center, located in the historic Courtney Hotel on South Sansome Street, had its grand opening in May, 1992. The first floor of the old hotel was completely remodeled to provide museum display space, a community center, and gift shop. The museum provides visitors with the opportunity to view photographs showing what life was like for the early day miners, ranchers, and townspeople.

The Ghost Town Hall of Fame is located in the museum and gives a pictorial history of Montana ghost towns. Local residents have donated and loaned articles of clothing, furniture, and day-to-day items that were used by their ancestors. Revolving displays are changed every few months so stop by often!

Hard Rock Mining Exhibit 

The Granite Mountain Mining exhibit was added in 1996. This 4,000 square foot area consists of an underground mining tour, an exhibit of early mining equipment and a grand mural of the famous ghost town of Granite. Nearly 20 ghost towns are within 30 miles of Philipsburg including Granite, Tower, Garnet, New Chicago, Southern Cross and Georgetown.

There is a Pioneer Life exhibit on the lower level. It includes examples of hard rock mining techniques and tools as well as a recreation of an old mine similar to those that dot the hills above town.

Granite County Museum & Cultural Center is committed to protecting the heritage of Granite County in particular as well as Montana and the American West. We fulfill this mission by collecting, housing, preserving and displaying historic artifacts, documents, photos and artwork of local significance to help tell the story of our past and to ensure that the story lives on. We engage the community in outreach educational programs and strive to act as the cultural “memory” of our community.

To find out more about the Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, you can visit their website at: http://www.granitecountymuseum.com, or call them at (406) 859-3020.

Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, Philipsburg, Montana, Montana Vacation Blog

{This post provided courtesy of The Granite County Museum and Cultural Center.}

 

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