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This profile was last updated on 9/4/12  and contains information from public web pages.

John D. Ellingsen

Wrong John D. Ellingsen?

Curator Emeritus

Virginia City

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Local Historian
37 Total References
Web References
John D. Ellingsen | Witness ..., 4 Sept 2012 [cached]
John D. Ellingsen | Witness to History
As a youngster, growing up in Great Falls, John Ellingsen developed an affection for historic structures, and "felt uncomfortable with the assumption that modern was necessarily better."
The author's first visit to Virginia City came in 1952 when he was nine years old. Walking the streets there, he felt he had stepped into the past, not just imagined it.
In his book, subtitled The Remarkable Untold Story of Virginia City and Nevada City, Montana, Ellingsen gives readers a tour through the history of these communities; the heydays of mining, the terrorizing bands of thieves that relieved prospectors of their gold, and the origin of the Vigilantes, formed to rid the community of its rascals. Numerous photographs and some of the author's own drawings illustrate the text.
He also describes efforts to purchase and preserve Virginia City after Charles Bovey passed away in 1978, which eventually resulted in the passage of House Bill 14 that established the state of Montana as owners of the two historic communities.
Ellingsen, who remains curator emeritus of Virginia City, has won numerous awards for his work in historic preservation, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montana Preservation Alliance, the Governor's Award for Historic Preservation and a Special Award for Preservation from the Department of the Interior for his work at Garnet Ghost Town.
He can still be found walking the streets in Virginia City, watching visitors enjoy the sights, and occasionally conducting tours of Alder Gulch, something he says he'll enjoy "as long as I live."
historian John Ellingsen ..., 26 May 2013 [cached]
historian John Ellingsen provides historical background on the discovery of gold in Virginia City on the evening of May 26, 150 years ago.
Champagne Brunch with John ..., 13 Dec 2009 [cached]
Champagne Brunch with John Ellingsen Events in Virginia City, Montana
Champagne Brunch with John Ellingsen Enjoy a Champagne Brunch at the Bennett House on Dec 13th at 11am, featuring local historian John Ellingsen.
John Ellingsen will talk at our ..., 29 July 2010 [cached]
John Ellingsen will talk at our next meeting regarding the mining history of Alder Gulch, and today we will have a presentation by John Douglas, U of M Archaeology, on the findings of the past two summers in Virginia City.
New Logo - John Ellingsen has created a new logo for Virginia City/Nevada City that will be available to all the various groups in VC.
· Oral History - Jeff Safford reported on the process of "downloading" John Ellingsen.
Jeff expressed the need to have John do a Virginia City/Nevada City house-by-house visitation interview.
The Victorian Gardens, behind Jon and Ricki Scott's is developing nicely.
· Follow up on the idea to have John Ellingsen be videotaped doing a building-by-building tour and interpretation.
Who knows Virginia City's history best?: ... [cached]
Who knows Virginia City's history best?: John Ellingsen, who has maintained a residence here for about 35 years and is presently the curator of history for the Montana Heritage Commission.
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