Filed Under Virginia City

Gilbert/Pankey Cabin

Virginia City Historic District

Small one- and two-room log houses like the western portion of this cabin lined the side streets of Virginia City in the mid-1860s. Assistant U.S. Assessor John R. Gilbert was the first resident in 1864, followed by telegraph operator Hiram Brundage in 1869. Teamster Henry Harriman and his family lived here in the late 1880s. By the early 1900s, Virginia City’s population had dwindled to 568 souls. Its many drafty log cabins stood vacant and undesirable. In 1907, Anna “Mae” Lowman, a Virginia City native, purchased the house. At the time, Mae served as the Madison County Superintendent of Schools. She later became one of Montana’s first women dentists. After attending dental college in Portland, Oregon, Mae married fellow dentist Marcus Pankey in 1916. Together they practiced dentistry in nearby Ennis and spent summer weekends in this cabin. Marcus died in 1919 and Mae continued her practice in Ennis and in Ajo, Arizona, until the late 1940s. She retired to Virginia City and lived here with her brother until her death in 1951. New owners added an addition to the east in 1976.


Gilbert/Pankey Cabin
Gilbert/Pankey Cabin View looking south at cabin facade Source: Courtesy of Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


Virginia City, Montana | Private


Montana National Register Sign Program, “Gilbert/Pankey Cabin,” Historic Montana, accessed May 21, 2024,