In this episode, we talk about the Virginia City Irish Days, which typically occurs every June. Truly a family affair, Virginia City Irish Days have something for everyone. There are historical talks, cultural events, parade, dancing, music, and a lot of fun. The entire town gets into it – there is the traditional painting of the green stripe down the road, the Ice Cream shop makes special ice cream for the event and everyone in town – whether they meant to or not get to be a part of the action. There are also all the regular Virginia City and Nevada City (the adjacent town) activities to enjoy, from panning for gold to some of the best baked goods in the state of Montana!
We dive into Virginia City’s history and talk about the Irish and how the community was situated when Thomas Francis Meagher arrived as Acting Territorial Governor. We talk about the Vigintiles and the opposition many Irish faced in the west, and we also talk about the singular opportunity Meagher and many other Irish saw in Montana. Indeed, here was a place where the “system” was still being set up. Many had been coming from Ireland during An Gorta Mór, and many had served in the Civil War. This complex and complicated background of people is often overlooked when we talk about the Western United States’ history. We talk about Meagher’s role in setting up the first Catholic Dioceses. We also talk about the mysterious disappearance of Meagher in 1867 in Fort Benton, Montana. The Ancient Order of Hibernians set up a memorial for Meagher in 2009. You can visit the Fort Benton levee where the Bust of Meagher marks the place he disappeared.
We also get into the history of how Virginia City went from the Territorial Capitol to today’s historical attraction and tourist destination. We talk about the Irish Days we have in Virginia City every year and the celebration included! YOU are invited to this celebration! This is such a fun and unique gathering and truly fun for everyone.
Enjoy episode 2! Remember to like and subscribe to our podcast and help us share! Thank you so much for listening. It is greatly appreciated. Thanks to Jason Brown for his behind-the-scenes assistance in getting everything up and out to all of you. Thank you to our good friends Mike and Hanna of the Langers Ball for allowing us to share their music here – they are a wonderful group out of Minneapolis – you can and should find them at their site thelangersball.com and on Facebook– so please check them out – and until next time – slan go foil!