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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana. Also known as... my own personal wonderland.

Going to the ghost town of Bannack was fantastic. In the literal, dictionary definition of the word. It was like entering into my own imagination, and being able to breathe in everything that my characters would have known. I walked the floors of the saloon, stood where solitary prisoners would have been chained, walked over the river where they would have panned for gold. I touched the walls of the hotels, and my fingers brushed the bannisters of decades old staircases. My imagination ran wild, with echoes of stories and histories. Few who go to Bannack must appreciate the gravity of standing in the spot where Henry Plummer and his gang of Innocents were hung. Those tourist families breezing through the buildings probably don't realize how much blood has been soaked into that dusty street.

During my few hours there, so many places and ideas captured my heart and soul. After falling in love with the beauty and eeriness of the Hotel Meade (it was once the courthouse, and therefore has large cell-like vaults, but besides that, it is one of the most gorgeous abandoned places I have walked in), I wandered through many houses. The wonderful and strange thing about abandoned houses is that they always feel like they have a soul, or some kind of personality. It could just be the projection of the stories you know, and you see all the happenings and what occurred. What the building was used for almost gives it a personality. Like many places in Montana, Bannack is said to have its own ghosts. I'm hugely sceptical towards ghosts, but at the same time... I almost want to believe in them. I like the idea of impressions being made, and something haunting a space or a memory. I like the idea of ghosts as an abstract idea, rather than a literal and physical thing.

All in all, Bannack is now one of those places that has made its home in all of my thoughts and ideas. Autem Mortimer has seen home, despite the horrors that will be supplied in her life. She is one of the main characters who starts off the story that I'm blotting and plotting. Bannack isn't kind to her, necessarily, but being there made her come to life.

Also, Fort Benton helped a bit, too.

I love Bannack. I can't wait to go back and spend more time. I wonder if they'd ever have an artist residency thing... where I could sleep in the buildings and have the walls whispers ideas to me. They've done a bit already, but sleep brings amazing things.

**Let the record show that all photos are copyright Emmelia Taylor 2012.

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