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Decaying Bridge, Galata, MT | by OpenSpaces PrairiePlaces
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Decaying Bridge, Galata, MT

If you follow a dirt trail (that disappears eventually) west out of the ghost town of Galata, Montana this bridge is where you will stop. It leads to some buildings that belong to the town of Galata but are far removed. There really is no way to get to to them anymore but they are part of the town! It's so odd because they are so far away from the town. But the buildings do belong to the town of Galata--the depot says "Galata" on the side. What a mystery!


Galata, Montana is almost a complete ghost town. There really are no more businesses open. Only a few homes are still lived in. This town has an interesting history and there are so many abandoned buildings that I would love to know the story behind.


Here is a video from when I drove through this great ghost town:


"Galata, east of Shelby, is near Willow Creek, one of the streams that flows into the reservoir created by Tiber Dam. It was a trading point and cattle shipping station on the Great Northern’s High Line. In 1901 David R. McGinnis, first immigration agent of the Great Northern Railroad, was so impressed by the beauty of the spot that he filed a claim for the land near the railroad where it crossed dry Galata Creek. McGinnis hired a surveyor to lay out a town and the following year brought carpenters and lumber from Kalispell to build a two-room house.


Cattlemen from the Marias River ranges brought their cattle to Galata for shipment to eastern markets. On cold winter days they were glad to have the protection of the two little rooms in the only building in “town.” The house burned down in 1904, but in 1905 McGinnis began rebuilding Galata. He built a two-room real estate office and an eight-room hotel, and eventually induced a storekeeper to set up shop in one of the rooms of the real estate office. Ranches would drive in with a chuckwagon and load up on $500—sometimes even $1,000—worth of supplies, pay in cash and return home for the long winter. After a few years, Galata’s only merchant closed shop and the hotel was abandoned; McGinnis gave up his dream of a town and moved to Kalispell.


One day he was surprised to receive a check in the mail. It was marked “back rent,” and was from a cowhand who had moved into the deserted Galata store and had done a good business with dryland farmers who were then settling on the old-time open range. By 1910 Galata had four lumberyards and five store. (from Cheney’s Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)


Near Galata, residents and visitors can enjoy one of the most versatile recreational areas in Montana, Tiber Dam-Lake Elwell. The lake provides excellent year-round angling for Walleye, Northern and Sauger Pike, native trout, Ling, Perch and others. Some may want to try their hand at bow fishing for carp that often exceed 20 pounds. For boaters and swimmers the area boasts over 50 miles of shoreline, a marina, and four well-maintained boat ramps located strategically around the lake. There are also numerous campground areas.


While you're at Tiber you'll observe spectacular windblown sandstone formations, Indian rings, and one of the largest earthen dikes in the world! The area surrounding Tiber contains excellent hunting, and a unique birdwatching area is located along the Marias River below Tiber Dam." -Montana's Russell Country Website


This is a great article, just scroll town to the one titled “Caught between two worlds, one dead, the other struggling to be born.”


This is a link to a neat photo taken near Galata many, many years ago:

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Taken on May 16, 2010