Custom Search
Nevada City
Historical Marker near Nevada City

A ghost town now, but once one of the hell roarin’ mining camps that lined Alder Gulch in the 1860s. It was a trading point where gold dust and nuggets were the medium of exchange: where men were men and women were scarce. A stack of whites cost twenty, the sky was the limit and everyone was heeled.

The first Vigilante execution took place here when George Ives, notorious road agent, was convicted of murder and hanged. The gulch was once filled with romance, glamour, melodrama, comedy and tragedy. It’s plumb peaceful now.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

On This Date in Montana: January 11, 1864

A band of Vigilantes hangs Dutch John Wagner in Bannack from the beam of a building. Not finished with their work for the day, they proceed to the cabin of a man they call Mexican Frank. Two of the vigilantes storm through the cabin door but are shot and manage to scramble to safety. The Chief Justice of the Idaho Territory, Sidney Edgarton, lends them a small howitzer and shells. The men fire three of the shells into the cabin collapsing the structure. The Vigilantes find the suspect trapped under a beam. They tie a clothesline around his neck and hoist him to a pole before firing more than a hundred shots into the strangling man. They then create a bonfire from the remains of the cabin and throw the corpse on the pyre. Unfortunately, Mexican Frank was not home that day. The unfortunate victim was a man named Joe Pizanthia. He was not on their list of suspected road agents. Rather than admit the screwup, the Vigilantes spread the rumor that Pizanthia was "one of the most dangerous men that ever infested our frontier."

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

Copyright © 2003 Michael Dougherty. Use of this material for radio and television programs, printed media, webcasting, and any other source of mass dissemination is prohibited without permission of the publisher.

Home | Free Brochures | Bookstore | Visit Montana | Live in Montana | Montana Communities | Search
Copyright © 2012 New Times Media Corporation - All Rights Reserved