One day in the 1990s, Ruth McFarland was reading a Montana Historical Society newsletter that sent her on a path that led to the historic gold rush towns of Virginia and Nevada cities.
The newsletter announced the state’s purchase of Virginia City and Nevada City and the immediate need for restoration of the towns’ historic artifacts.
Soon after, McFarland decided to donate $1.1 million to the effort, and plans for a curatorial center in Virginia City were born. The McFarland Curatorial Center was built in 1999, and it was McFarland’s wish that the center would one day belong to the state of Montana. And now that wish is coming true.