Latitude / Longitude:
46° 49′ 31 N, 113° 20′ 20 W
6,000 ft (1,800 m)
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Garnet is a ghost town in Granite County, Montana, United States. Located on the dirt Garnet Range Road, it is an abandoned mining town that dates from the 1860s. In First Chance Gulch in western Montana, the town is located 11 miles up the Garnet Range Road, in mountains and forest. The town is at about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) elevation.
Garnet was originally named Mitchell in 1895 and had ten buildings. The main part of the town was built on the Garnet Lode. Later changing its name to Garnet, it was a rich gold mining area. In 1898, as many as 1,000 people lived here; it was abandoned 20 years later when the gold ran out. A fire in 1912 destroyed half the town, which was never rebuilt. Supplies needed in Garnet were generally obtained from nearby Bearmouth.
Garnet has the Wells hotels, Kelly Saloon, Daveys Store and many outer buildings, preserved and intact. During the 1890s, it had close to thirteen saloons (bars), as well as food stores, a barber shop, mercantile store, and three hotels. The hotels were started for passersby, or people coming to pick up gold. They typically ranged from 1-3 dollars, and the poor miners who could not afford that price could sleep in the attic without any windows for a quarter. It is suspected that Garnet even had a brothel, but prices and the exact whereabouts are uncertain. Garnet was famous for its saloons; at its peak, the saloons were one of the hottest spots in Garnet.
Despite this, Garnet is one of the state’s best preserved with 16,000 visitors annually. The annual celebration the third Saturday of each year is Garnet Day. Garnet’s oldest living member, Mary Jane Adams Morin, came to visit every year. The nearest city is Missoula, about 20 miles (32 km) to the west. The closest city to the east is Butte, about 100 miles (160 km) away.