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Galata is now virtually a ghost town, but at one time it was a booming railroad center. David R. McGinnis, a Great Northern executive, thought the area was so beautiful that he filed a claim for the land near where the small Galata Creek ran down from the Sweet Grass Hills. He built a ten room hotel and a number of commercial buildings, but nobody showed up. His dream of building a town had failed. He later recalled, "Cowboys, jam-full of life, coming there to ship stock, in their excess of joy of living would playfully shoot the doorknobs off the vacant buildings." He closed up and moved to Kalispell. He later received a check in the mail marked "back rent". A cowhand had moved into the deserted store and had done a fair amount of business with dryland farmers who were settling the area.

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

On This Date in Montana: December 20, 1985

A statue weighing 51 tons, rising 90 feet high and requiring 6 years to construct is set atop the rugged Rocky Mountain ridge overlooking Butte. This monument of Our Lady of the Rockies was built in the likeness of Mary, Mother of Jesus, but is intended to be a tribute to all women regardless of religion. Perched on the east ridge overlooking Butte, the statue is lit at night and can be seen glowing on Butte’s skyline. A bus tour is available, and a possible gondola ride is under consideration.

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.

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