The best way to learn the history of Virgelle, Mont.? Sleep on it. Or in it. Founded 75 miles northeast of Great Falls in 1912 by Virgil and Ella Blankenbaker—hence the name—this tiny town on the Missouri River never took off. It stood mostly abandoned until Don Sorensen, son of a local farmer, began to straighten, clean, and furnish six of the area’s original cabins for a look that’s part Little House on the Prairie, part shabby chic.
Other hideaways include four bed-and-breakfast rooms and a sheep wagon that was once an outlaw’s home. Most guests slip away for a guided canoe trip on the Missouri. Open through October, the cabins start at $45 per person. (800) 426-2926, virgellemontana.com .
Photography by Donnie Sexton/Travel Montana
This article was first published in September 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.