With more than $1 million raised, Montana begins efforts to save territorial capitol

The Stonewall Hall in Virginia City was recently acquired by the State of Montana. It served as the first permanent territorial capitol building in Virginia City. (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan).

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VIRGINIA CITY – Walking down the boardwalk of this historic city, you could be forgiven for passing by a peach-colored stone building that used to be a garage.

It looks like so many other buildings here, in a sort of ongoing historic preservation in the heart of the rowdy home of the Vigilantes.

But Stonewall Hall may be the most significant historical building in the state at risk of collapsing.

Built in 1864, Stonewall Hall served as the territorial capitol from 1865 to 1875. And it’s now the top priority of the Montana Heritage Commission and the Montana History Foundation in the race to stabilize and save the most important structure from the territorial era. The state and historic preservation leaders have just completed efforts to begin the restoration process, which will take more than $1 million.

The building’s two-story walls are in need of stabilization before the true restoration can begin. Unreinforced stones have already started

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