The Montana Post’s print shop published more than just the newspaper. Editor Thomas J. Dimsdale wrote a series of articles about the Vigilantes, a group of men who exercised frontier justice on the “road agents” who robbed miners of their gold. In 1866 the collected articles became the basis for the first book published in the Montana Territory, “The Vigilantes of Montana.”
Virginia City soon became the transportation and communication hub of the region. The Wells Fargo, Holladay and Overland Mail stagecoach lines connected the boom town with Salt Lake City, Utah, and other destinations. In 1866 the stage lines consolidated under the Wells Fargo name. A horse-drawn stagecoach still rolls through town, giving visitors a 25-minute narrated tour of Alder Gulch that includes the site of William Fairweather’s gold strike.
Gold brought riches to Virginia City -- and highway robbers, or “road agents.” The townspeople formed a “vigilance committee” to capture and punish members of Henry Plummer’s infamous gang of road agents. In 1864 the vigilantes hanged 24 men in the space of two months, including Plummer.