On a winding dirt road, less than five miles above Philipsburg, is Granite Ghost Town - one of Montana’s legendary ghost towns that shrank from a population of 3,000 to 140 residents within a year after the U.S. Congress repealed the Sherman Purchase Silver Act in 1893, which slashed the price of silver, diminishing thriving mining towns like Granite across the U.S.
Today, remnants of Granite are now part of a walking trail, showing where the 18 saloons, four churches, numerous banks, a hospital, homes of the mining residents and the impressive structures where mining operations took place once stood. Granite even had a ballpark and roller skating rink, as well as a three-story Miners’ Union Hall that boasted the “finest dance floor in the Northwest” with regular theater and vaudeville shows performed there.
While Granite attracts the most attention from visitors to Philipsburg, there are actually a number of ghost towns in the county that are well worth exploring (a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended - alternatively, an ATV tour of Granite Ghost Town can be booked). In-depth history of the county’s ghost towns can also be found at the Granite County Museum in Philipsburg, home to the Montana Ghost Town Hall of Fame.