Do you fancy spending your summer in an historic – but supposedly haunted – ghost town? How about if we told you that not only would you not need to pay rent – the US government will actually PAY you to be there?! Okay, not a fortune, but enough to cover all your living expenses. Then what would you say? Yeah, we’d be tempted too. If it wasn’t for all those ghosts…
The abandoned town is in the old mining area of Granite County in Montana. It’s a little place called ‘Garnet’ and the US Bureau of Land Management is looking for volunteers to dedicate their summer to living in and looking after the place, as well as take guided tours of visitors around and show them the sights. You’d get a fully furnished cabin, along with a food allowance. In return, you’d be expected to maintain the property and surrounding area, provide visitor and tourist information to anyone that needs it, lead tours, help with events and any special exhibits and also assist in running the gift shop. You work a normal 9-5 day and then spend the rest of the time doing whatever you want.
The majority of volunteers spend just a month there, presumably because it’s hard to take too much time off their normal jobs. But you can stay all summer long. Perhaps some of those that didn’t last the course were scared of by the ghosts that are said to wander the empty streets and buildings. The Wells Hotel has been known to emit odd sounds, like moans and footsteps. And some volunteers have reported the sound of laughter and music from the empty Kelly’s Saloon.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Garnet Ranger Nacoma Gainan says this of the place:
“It’s primitive, to say the least. It’s for people who love the outdoors and want to give back. There’s no electricity, no WiFi, and no running water, but there are trails to explore and artifacts to inspect. Volunteers are really left to their own devices after the visitors are gone. We rely on volunteers to do much of our day-to-day stuff. We can’t hire full-time personnel or even seasonal personnel. But we have all the stuff you need to live there.”
We think the old place looks fascinating. Although perhaps we’d prefer to visit for a day than stay for three months…
Are you interested in volunteering at the Garnet Ghost Town? If you think you’re up to the challenge and can see yourself there, you can contact Ranger Nacoma Gainan at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office by email: [email protected] Hey – good luck if you do!