Filed Under Virginia City

Virginia City Trading Company

Virginia City Historic District

Carpenter Ray McClurg built this reproduction storefront building in 1948 to house the Virginia City Trading Company, the tourism company owned by preservationists Charles and Sue Bovey. In the early 1950s, Charles acquired and restored many dilapidated Virginia City buildings and moved in or built new buildings to recreate long lost pioneer businesses. Bovey and McClurg referenced historic maps and photographs to make this building resemble the original 1864 Gurney & Co. boot and shoe store that once stood on the site. In the late 1860s, Gurney & Co., a national chain, eventually moved up the street to a more desirable location. The building sat vacant before serving as a dwelling from the 1870s through the early 1900s. It disappeared from the site after 1922. When the new building opened in the late 1940s it housed Sue Bovey’s collection of vintage clothing. Charles then used it throughout the 1950s and 1960s as his office and archive. The building has been a seasonal gift shop since 1977.


Virginia City Trading Company, Virginia City
Virginia City Trading Company, Virginia City View looking south at Virginia City Trading Company facade Source: Courtesy of Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


324 West Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana | Public


Montana National Register Sign Program, “Virginia City Trading Company,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024,