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A REQUIEM FOR SOUTHERN CROSS, MONTANA

by

Gary B. Speck

 

“SOUTHERN CROSS is currently at the center of controversy.  The owners want to tear down this magnificent little ghost and evict all its residents to mine the gold that lies beneath the 7000' high town.  Two days after our visit in early August 1999, I read an article in the Idaho Falls (ID) newspaper that said the last residents had to vacate by Oct 31, 2000. 

           

Visiting this ghost satisfied my longing for a town with standing buildings and little or no population.  Southern Cross is (or was) a classic ghost with many standing abandoned structures, and a magnificent tree-shaded location overlooking Georgetown Lake. The population is only about four or five folks, and yes some of the buildings are posted, but you can see them up close from the roads. 

(Personal opinion)  Yes, we do need to allow companies to mine ore at their mines, but when it results in the destruction of a wonderful little ghost town such as this, we should encourage the property owners to find methods of preservation compatible to their goals.  We do need to preserve our heritage as it is being destroyed too fast already by nature and vandals.  As of this writing (July 2000) the town still stands, but by the time you read this – who knows?”

The above is from my Ghost Town USA column, which was published in the Dec 2000 issue of Western & Eastern Treasures magazine.

Since that article appeared in print, it appears the owners of the property have followed through and evicted all the residents.  According to the feature article in the Winter 2001 Montana Ghost Town Quarterly (MT GT Preservation Society newsletter) the following sentence sums up what’s happened in this formerly wonderful little ghost town.

 

 “…(there is a) deep sadness in the eyes of the people as they packed up their belongings and watched as the buildings were dismantled and hauled away, leaving them only memories.”

 

Unfortunately sometimes “progress” destroys something that should be preserved.  This places a burden on all of us who love ghost towns to try and follow the Ghost Towner’s Code of Ethics, and also be active in preservation efforts.  Many of us are also metal detectorists, and relic collectors.  It especially behooves us to pursue our hobbies with respect for the sites, and ALWAYS obtain any needed permission in writing.  Always remember that each ghost town in America is a unique individual with its own personality and history.  Every time a building comes down either through natural means (weather, earthquakes, or old age) or through vandalism or purposefully torn down by town owners, a little more of our heritage is lost forever.

 

Southern Cross can never be replaced, but those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit will always remember what was there.

 

See what once was

 

For other recently departed ghost towns, visit our ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST page.

 

This was our GHOST TOWN OF THE MONTH for March 2001.

 

 

Location:

·        SW¼ Sec 34, T5N, R13W, Principal Meridian

·        Latitude: 46.2102031 / 46° 12’ 37” N

·        Longitude: -113.2364462 / 113° 14’ 11” W

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  March 01, 2001

LAST UPDATED: August 02, 2013

 

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