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Get in Touch with History – Join Preservation Efforts in Historic Virginia City, Montana


Boulder, Colorado - March 26, 2006 - Heritage Conservation Network and the Virginia City Preservation Institute invite history enthusiasts and historic preservation aficionados to help with the documentation and assessment of the H.S. Gilbert House in Virginia City, Montana, from July 9-15, 2006. The house is one of over 100 structures owned by the Montana Heritage Commission and slated for preservation and restoration to keep the history of the 1860’s mining boom in Alder Gulch alive.

The house will be the site of a hands-on workshop that will bring interested volunteers together with preservation students and professionals for a week. It is a brick and clapboard structure that served as the brewmaster’s house when its associated brewery served what was once the largest population between Minneapolis and San Francisco. The building is sinking below grade due to its location in an area of cold springs which, while of great import to the brewery at the time, are now damaging the building. The first step in developing a plan for its preservation is determining exactly its condition and specific weaknesses. Workshop participants will be spending a week completing the initial phase of site documentation. Work will be led by Jeff MacDonald, Preservation Specialist and head of The Virginia City Institute for Preservation Research & Technology.

For planning purposes, volunteers must pre-register with Heritage Conservation Network. Complete workshops details and registration information are available from or Heritage Conservation Network, 1557 North Street, Boulder, CO 80304; 303 444 0128. Registration closes May 5, 2006. A workshop fee of $400 covers the cost of instruction and materials. Lodging is additional and is available in Virginia City.

No ghost town, Virginia City today has 150 year-round residents, who are very intent on keeping its history alive. During the summer season, there are live shows, train rides, and other activities to celebrate the area’s history. Spending a week steeped in history is sure to be a great experience. Virginia City is a 90 mile drive from Yellowstone National Park and one and a half miles from Nevada City, another preserved mining town.

Heritage Conservation Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of architectural heritage around the world. HCN produces an annual series of hands-on building conservation workshops in association with local preservation partners in order to further the sites’ preservation and provide an educational experience for participants.


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