Original Madison County Courthouse

W Idaho St Virginia City, Montana


Original Madison County Courthouse

Photo taken by David Jones in August 2019




"Madison County was one of the original nine counties created by the first territorial legislature in 1865. This building, constructed in 1866, served as the county courthouse during Virginia City’s stint as territorial capital (1865-1875). When the present courthouse on Wallace Street replaced it in 1876, three Catholic Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, came to Virginia City at the request of Father Francis Kelleher. The sisters opened St. Mary’s Hospital for miners in the old courthouse. The hospital briefly prospered and the three sisters worked tirelessly caring for patients, cooking, sterilizing instruments, and doing endless hospital laundry. Placer gold was soon exhausted and St. Mary’s closed for lack of patients in 1879. In 1949, Charles Bovey remodeled the interior as a hotel, but the exterior, with its clapboard siding and tall false front, is little changed from the 1870s." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque


19th Century (37,859)
Built 1866 (280)
Built during 1860s (3,774)
Courthouse (2,254)
Madison County, Montana (92)
Montana (2,200)

Update Log 

  • December 8, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • August 6, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody
  • David Jones