Bannack State Park Faces the Future after Flood

Posted April 10, 2020

This article originally appeared on KXLF.com.  Written by Dom Tibbetts.

BANNACK STATE PARK — It’s been a road filled with bumps and obstacles to restore the Bannack ghost town. But seven years after a disastrous flash flood nearly wiped over a hundred years of history, Bannack State Park  has made great strides to regain its luster. And with the help of a few organizations the park is ready to take the next step.

“Well we’ve had the good fortune of being able to work with the Montana History foundation and now going into the second year we’re grateful to be receiving some grant funding from them,” said Cultural Heritage Specialist Jeff MacDonald. “And working with Colorado based non-profit Adventures in Preservation.”

That next step entails creating short term and long terms goals to steadily improve the restoration efforts so that people of all ages can truly sink their teeth into a piece of frontier history.

“As we work towards repairing what we have or stabilizing what we have it’s there for future generations,” says Bannack Park Manager Dale Carlson. “We get over 47,000 people through here a year that come to Bannack. They come from all over the world because Bannack is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the west.”

Bannack is a time capsule that showcases a proud Montana way of life.Preserving it and making sure future generations have an accurate portrayal of what life was like there is one of the most important reasons for why so many people deeply care about this work.

“Especially Montanans. They take pride in our historic sites and those people from all around the world they also have a respect for what we have here,” said Carlson.

“These buildings, this town site, have withstood all different types of transitions in history over time and it’s experiencing one right now, MacDonald adds. “But these are the times by getting inside and learning about the heritage of the past, we’re able to understand our present better and be applying that knowledge to the future.”