Philipsburg was the heart of a prosperous silver mining district in the late 1800s. Philipsburg was founded in 1867 and reached a peak population of well over a thousand before the silver panic of 1893. Most of the mining towns around Philipsburg were abandoned after the 1893 silver crash but Philipsburg survived and had a second period of prosperity in the 1920s. In the 1920s Philipsburg's population exceeded 2,000. Mining activity in the area has declined to almost nothing in the second half of the 1900s. Philipsburg today has a population of 820 and seems to be thriving. Its economy largely revolves around services for visitors at this point. There are many small shops and restaurants in nicely restored 19th century buildings in downtown Philipsburg. Philipsburg also has a substantial local history museum (The Granite County Museum).
Kirkville is a ghost town about a mile southeast of Philipsburg. There is essentially nothing left of Kirkville at this point aside from remnants of Kirkville's Bi-metalic mine and mill. Kirkville and the Bi-metalic mine are privately owned and there were people working at the site in (2014). The ruins of the main 1800s mill are beyond the currently active portion of the mine. I'm not sure how they feel about visitors. I didn't try to go beyond the main entrance.
Granite ghost town is about 4 miles from Philipsburg. Granite, which is now a state park is well worth visiting.
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