Recognizing the need for a newspaper to serve the estimated 10,000 people living along Alder Gulch, J. Buchanan began publishing The Montana Post, the Montana Territory’s first newspaper, from these offices in 1864.
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.