Ennis is a bustling and picturesque western town in the heart of the Madison Valley, east of the Tobacco Root Mountains and 13 miles from historic Virginia City. Primarily a hunting and ﬁshing center, Ennis three blocks of downtown businesses boast Old West-style facades.
Ennis, like most of the towns in this area, was spawned from the discovery of gold in the area. Within months after gold was discovered at Alder Gulch, William Ennis homesteaded the site along with the Madison that is now the town of Ennis. A Mr. Jeffers homesteaded the site across the river. Ranchers, farmers, and businesses soon ﬂocked to the area. By the late 1880s, there were three major stage lines servicing the community. The tall grass and favorable climate created an excellent environment to raise horses, cattle, and sheep. Chief White Clouds tribe of Bannack Indians was friendly to the settlers and whites and Indians existed in harmony. Today this small town of 1,000 is known for its Black Angus and prize Herefords. Timber is harvested from the surrounding forests, and gold mining is making a comeback in the area. But nationally, Ennis is known as a staging area for some of the ﬁnest ﬂy-ﬁshing in the world on the blue ribbon Madison River. Another of Ennis's assets, The Ennis National Fish Hatchery, is located only twelve miles south of Ennis.
Nowhere is the love affair with livestock more apparent than in Ennis during Rodeo Weekend. This small town swells with excitement as people from all over come to celebrate one of Montana's most popular Fourth of July rodeos.
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