Photo Tour

Over 50 buildings remain at Bannack today. Each one with a story to tell. Join us as we take you through a photo tour and explore the rich and colorful history of Bannack. When you're ready to see the whole town site, come Visit Bannack!

Hotel Meade


In 1864 when the First Legislative Session was held here, Bannack was named the County Seat of Beaverhead County. In 1875 this impressive brick building was built as the first Beaverhead County Courthouse, but by 1881 the gold rush to Montana was history. Stock raising and agriculture were displacing mining as the main industries in Beaverhead County. Bannack was evolving into a humdrum settlement. Dillon, twenty-five miles to the east, on the other hand, was emerging as a bustling metropolis of about 800 people. The Utah and Northern Railroad had established a terminus in Dillon and it was evolving into a flourishing freighting center.

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The citizens of Bannack fought to keep the county seat, but in February of 1881 the Territorial Legislature called for a special election in Beaverhead County to vote on moving the county seat to Dillon. After a venomous battle, Bannack lost the bid and the county seat was moved to Dillon.

The large brick building remained empty until about 1890 when it was purchased by Dr. John Christian Meade for $1,250. Dr. Meade remodeled and turned the building into a plush hotel. It became the center of Bannack social activity and temporary home of many Montana travelers. A large kitchen, dining room and living quarters were added to the back of the hotel. The dining room was filled with tables to seat four or six and could be rearranged for larger parties. Beautiful white linens graced the tables along with fine china. Hotel Meade remained open for business for many years, abandoned at times only to reopen to meet the needs of Bannack each time mining activity in the area revived. The hotel operated off and on until the 1940's.