Filed Under Virginia City

Hangman's Building

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

On January 14, 1864, the Vigilantes used the heavy center support beam of this building, then under construction, to hang five of Henry Plummer’s road agents: Frank Parish, Boone Helm, Jack Gallagher, Haze Lyons, and Club Foot George Lane. Druggists Clayton, Hale, and then Morris occupied this completed building until the 1880s when the U.S. Post Office was located here. In 1903, the Virginia City Water Company, owned and operated by Sarah Bickford, purchased the property and maintained offices here until her death in 1939. Bickford was perhaps the only black woman in state history to own a utility, a remarkable achievement in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Montana.


Building in Virginia City, Montana, where vigilantes hanged five men.
Building in Virginia City, Montana, where vigilantes hanged five men. View of the store in Virginia City, Montana, where vigilantes hanged five men on January 14, 1864. The five men killed in this building as accused road agents were Boone Helm, Jack Gallagher, Frank Parrish, Haze Lyons, and 'Clubfoot' George Lane. Nine men and two children stand on the boardwalk in front of the building. They are, as numbered, 1) N. D. Johnson, 2) Joe Smith II, 3) Samuel V. Stewart, 4) J. E. Callaway, 5) Martin McLean, 6) H. D. Rossiter, 7) Henry Wurm, 8) Henry Schermerhorn, and 9) Jim Summers. Source: PAc 956-227, Montana Legacy Photograph Collection, Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT. Creator: Unknown photographer Date: ca. 1895-1905
Hangman's Building, Virginia City
Hangman's Building, Virginia City View of facade Source: Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


123 West Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana | Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Hangman's Building,” Historic Montana, accessed June 17, 2024,