Montana Heritage Commission Montana Heritage CommissionDiscovering Montana


Living History at Nevada City!

Living History Schedule

Relive the excitement of the Gold Rush era in Montana. Our outdoor living history museum in Nevada City, Montana, houses one of the largest collections of old west artifacts outside the Smithsonian. The site consists of one hundred, 1863 to early 1900 buildings, and close to 40 Living History Interpreters. Living History weekends are held Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend all summer long. The Montana Heritage Commission's Living History Program uses exhibits and artifacts to helps you experience the culture, time and place engaging all of your senses as you discover early Montana.

Events are historically researched, and accurately portrayed. In Nevada City, you will discover what it was like to live in a frontier mining town. Work with the blacksmith, visit with the sawyer, help with an old time recipe in one of the cabins, or just sample a taste of the past. Take time out of your fast paced life to "Step Into Montana's Past," and visit a town brought to life every weekend by our costumed interpreters. Let people representing the 1863 - 1865 territorial days help to guide your experience, and help you learn about Montana's heritage first hand.

We portray daily life and special events as they happened, in Alder Gulch, that lead to the development from Idaho to Montana Territory following the gold discovery. In Nevada City you can attend a miner's court trial, witness a vigilante hanging, or the murder of a local deputy. Join us in celebrations of our country's freedom on the 4th of July, play a game of grace's or try your hand at saloon games of the 1860's.

Located in the wilderness of Idaho Territory, Nevada City had no courts or statutes miners established mining districts, passed their own laws and elected officials. Everything from mining trials to murder trials fell within the jurisdiction of the miners' courts. Nevada City's main street was the setting for the Trial of George Ives for the brutal murder of the young Dutchman, Nicholas Thiebalt. Attend the colorful George Ives Trial and Hanging, where miners are judge, jury and executioners.

You can assist one of our historic trades people as you learn about the General Mercantile stores, do the laundry, attend school, work with the blacksmith, or help prepare a meal on a wood stove in one of the cabins. Our first person interpreters talk about their lives as they portray historic Alder Gulch characters, and discuss different aspects of their lives and roles in the area during our Past Meets Present programs. When you step into Nevada City, we want you to step into another era, the sights, sounds, and smells, of the past.

2008 Hanging of George Ives. Live interpretation.

The programs offered by the Montana Heritage Commission are not equaled anywhere else in the West. Plan to attend Living History events in Nevada City, Montana.

For additional event information, or if you are interested in volunteering to be a Living History Interpreter, contact Dan Thyer, Living History Coordinator and Volunteer Program Services Director at (406) 843-5247 ext. 206.