All about gambling, vigilantes, and gallows...

Arts & Culture

In 1862, gold was taken from Gold Creek in the Flint Creek Mountain Range, initiating a rush of miners, merchants, and settlers that would result in the formation of Montana Territory. But the discovery also attracted the territory's first professional criminals: card cheats. Dealing Three Card Monte, they inspired both swindles and shootouts and led to the region's first socially directed hanging. Author and magician Marty Demarest details how these events help to explain Montana's tangled history of gaming regulation, and delineate the social and economic values that motivated the region's earliest citizens. A decisive step toward the formation of Montana's Vigilantes, the story of Hangtown reveals Montana's first attempt at reconciling both its treasure and the trouble it attracts. www.montanahistoricalsociety.org