Philipsburg Montana, a gem of a town
Philipsburg Montana cropped up in searches when we were looking for some small towns to visit whilst staying in Helena. As it was only 1.5 hours away we decided to drive over and see what we could find.
The journey to Philipsburg is very scenic and on the way, we stopped off at The Ohrmann Museum & Gallery which you can read about in this separate post. It really was an amazing place.
You can see the mountains all the way there and some old bars are also quite photogenic.
When you arrive in Philipsburg, you follow the road around, very slowly, to what is advertised as the historic downtown. Your first glimpse is a long road with buildings either side that look, well, historic!
There are parking spots all along both sides of the road which is great for convenience but does take away from the beauty of the buildings and gets in the way of taking good photos of them. Still, I suppose you can't have everything.
We wandered up and down and went into some of the stores, but mainly we admired the buildings and how well many of them had been restored. Some of the really old places had historical plaques outside giving brief details about the building.
The town was originally a mining town back in the mid-1800's but was almost deserted by the mid-1900's due to the closure of the mines and sawmills. This changed when newcomers started buying land and buildings to renovate during the 1990's. The historic Broadway Hotel was reopened and tourism has since flourished bringing new life to this once neglected town.
These days just under 1,000 people call it home and most are employed in either tourism or at the Philipsburg Brewing Company which is not only a tourist attraction but the major employer in the area.
Some buildings are still in need of renovation, but many have been restored to their orignal charm and grandure.
I thought this bicycle hanging from a building was pretty unusual.
Whilst in the town we stopped off at a small cafe which looked really quaint. It is called The Boheme and is for "free thinkers and coffee drinkers" The lady running the place was really friendly and after ordering a cappuccino for Chris and a hot chocolate for me she persuaded us to order a slice of pie too. Chris had his cold with cream, I had mine warm, sans cream. Oh my, it was good and we were very glad we decided to indulge. The drinks were really good too.
This lovely little town is definitely worth a visit especially if like us, you love old towns and interesting places. There are a couple of mineral stores where you can choose your own stones or simply buy jewellery, especially sapphires.