Named for the semi-precious red gems prospectors discovered there along with gold, Garnet was inhabited from the 1860s through about 1912 -- when a fire razed half the town. Since the gold had pretty much run out anyway, there wasn’t much point in rebuilding it. Garnet lasted as long as the mines did; which is to say, not that long. In its heyday, though, the isolated town maintained 13 saloons, four hotels, two barbershops, a doctor’s office, and a school, as well as a daily stagecoach route to nearby towns.
A fire razed most of Garnet in 1912; residents bailed. Now, more than 30 historic buildings (a dozen cabins, a store, a saloon, and part of the J.K. Wells Hotel) remain, their interiors practically untouched and still full of dishes, furniture, and clothes.