Prior to the arrival of the white man, Shoshone, Flathead and Bannack tribes hunted the Madison Valley each spring. Lewis and Clark also found their way into the Madison Valley in 1805.
In 1863, gold was discovered in Alder Gulch. This brought on "the rush." Two months later, William Ennis homesteaded the site along the Madison River that quickly became the town of Ennis.
Old West history is all around us. Virginia City, only 12 miles west and founded in 1863, is considered to be the most complete original town of its kind in the US. Nevada City represents a busy mining town the way they used to be.
Today, the Madison Valley is primarily cattle country. Prize Herefords and Black Angus are raised along with hay and grain. The spirit of the Old West lives on in the local farms, ranches, and rodeos. Ennis continues to be the hub of this active region, a community of 1,000 people, eager to make you feel welcome.