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14. Food, Lodging


Many of the miners who came to this area in the 1860s were Civil War veterans. The town was named for Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan, a Union cavalry leader.

L Moriah Motel

220 S Main St in Sheridan. 842-5491. moriahmotel.com. Moriahmotel@yahoo.com

The quiet, clean, and modern Moriah Motel is located on Main Street in Sheridan. This is a great base camp for your explorations in historic south- west Montana. Small and friendly, the single-story, twelve-room property has four single rooms and eight doubles with smoking permitted in one of them. All others are non-smoking. Each of the air- conditioned rooms has queen-sized beds, cable TV, microwaves, refrigerators, and full baths. A complete laundry room with soap and bleach is available for guests. The Moriah is pet friendly and has ample parking adjacent to each room. Their office is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with man- agement on site 24/7. Coffee and ice are available during office hours. If you just can’t do without, they have wireless Internet on the property.

L Ruby Valley Inn LLC Bed & Breakfast

3209 Hwy 287 in Sheridan. 842-7111

15. Food, Lodging


Once served as a shipping center during the early gold rush days, gold dredging operations at the turn of the century left large gravel mounds west of town. Near Alder Ponds lie piles of processed rock, called windrows, as well as the dredge ponds from the operation of one of the largest dredges to be used in 1911. Two of Harry Plummer’s road agents were hanged near here in 1864. It’s estimated over $100 million dollars in gold was extracted from this area. Even today, visitors can pan for gold at Alder Gulch River of Gold. A few buildings remain, along with a few residents.

Laurin The town was a station on the Northern Pacific railroad between Sheridan and Alder. Originally know as Cicero, the name was changed to honor John Baptiste Laurin who ran a trading store nearby. John and his wife prospered by trading with the Indians and selling goods to the miners. He and his wife were in the mercantile and live- stock business for almost forty years. While they had no children of their own, they raised fourteen who had been left to their care for one reason or another. They built a magnificent Catholic church of native stone and donated it to the community. The church still stands. Perhaps Laurin is best know for its “Hangman’s Tree” where members of the Plummer Gang were dispatched at the end of a rope on January 4, 1864.


H Robbers’ Roost

S of Sheridan

In 1863, Pete Daly built a road house on the stage route between Virginia City and Bannack to provide entertainment fo , man. and beast. The main floor was a shrine to Bacchus and Lady Luck. The second floor was dedicated to Terpsichore and bullet holes in the logs attest the fervor of ardent swains for fickle sirens. Occasionally a gent succumbed.

Pete’s tavern became a hangout for unwholesome characters who held up stage coaches and robbed lone travellers. One of the road agents is alleged to have left a small fortune in gold cached in the vicinity.

In later years, time and neglect gave the build- ing its present hapless look and it became known as Robbers’ Roost. It is in the cottonwood grove just across the railroad tracks. Drive over and pay your respects but please don’t dig up the premises trying to locate the cache.

H The Ruby Valley

near Alder

The Ruby River was called the Passamari by the Indians and became known as the Stinking Water to the whites in the pioneer days. It joins the Beaverhead to form the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri.

Fur trappers, Indians, prospectors and road agents have ridden the trails through here in days gone by.

The large gravel piles to the west are the tailings resulting from gold dredging operations over about a twenty-year period beginning in 1899. The dredges are reported to have recovered between eight and nine mil- lion dollars in gold from the floor of the valley and the lower end of Alder Gulch.

LFC Chick’s Motel & RV Park and The Inback Steakhouse

Hwy 287 near Alder. (motel)842-5366 or (restaurant)842-7632. chicks@3rivers.net or inbackchef@yahoo.com

Chick’s Motel & RV Park is in the heart of some Montana’s most colorful historical areas and sur- rounded by great hunting and fishing. Just ten miles from Virginia City and seven miles from the Ruby Dam on the way to West Yellowstone. The motel offers satellite TV, phones, refrigerators, microwaves, and a laundry room. The family operated Inback Steakhouse serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Their famous prime rib is served Friday through Sunday

evenings. They’re known for extra juicy and ten- der charbroiled steaks. Breakfast is served until noon on weekends. They offer great homemade soups and desserts along with friendly smiles. Order food to go or let them cater your party of 10 to 100! The restaurant also has souvenir shirts and hats. “It only happens in Alder.”

VFLM Broken Arrow Lodge & Outfitters

24 Fly Fisher Ln in Alder. 842-5437 or 800-775-2928. brokenarrowlodge.com. brokenal@3rivers.net

A stay at the Broken Arrow Lodge is like a stay at a good friend’s home. Whether using it as a launch- ing and ending point for a backcountry experience, hunting or fishing trip, or just a dude ranch expe- rience off the beaten path, the Lodge offers all the amenities plus three hearty home-cooked meals a day. It’s more than just a place to stay. Their fishing guides are passionate about fly-fishing, and even more passionate about your fishing success. They are close to five famous Montana fishing streams. The prestigious Ruby River flows right through their property. They offer guided and unguided hunting trips on some of the finest elk hunting sites available. If you’re just looking for a place to stay, get a hotel. If you’re looking for an experi- ence, call the Broken Arrow Lodge.

L Ruby Springs Lodge

2487 Hwy 287 in Sheridan. 842-5250 or 800-278-RUBY. www.rubyspringslodge.com. info@rubyspringslodge.com

It Happened in Montana

January 2, 1865. For 185 rounds, Con Orem and Hugh O’Neill battled bare- knuckled to a draw in Virginia City. The fight was best described by Granville Stuart:

“…each man toed the mark and the bat- tle begun and lasted three hours and five munutes, in which one hundred eighty- five rounds were fought. At this junction a sudden feeling seemed to animate the backers of both men. The referee was called on by both parties to stop the fight. (the men themselves were still game and ready to go.) This was accord- ingly done to the satisfaction of most people present. Bets were declared off and the ring money was divided evenly.”

The prize purse was $1,000. As it was a draw, each man ended up receiving $425 and half of all the gold dust “pokes” thrown into the ring.


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