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Silver City, Idaho
The Historical Mining town: Silver City, Idaho
Silver City, Idaho is an old mining town up in the Owyhee mountain range between Jordan Valley Oregon and Murphy, Idaho.
In 1863 huge gold and silver deposits were discovered in the Owyhee Mountains and there were hundreds of mining claims there. Thousands of people gathered in this high mountain town, and it officially became a township in 1864 when it was established.
What is left now is a very small remnant of the hundreds of buildings that were once in Silver City. Of those hundreds which included 8 saloons, 6 general stored and a hospital only about 75 structures remain.
Some may call it a ghost town, but if you choose to visit it you will definitely see that it is still a thriving little community. Occupied with "live people" still enjoying the small town life there. We found the people very friendly and helpful to those visiting. One gentleman kindly let us park in front of his building marked "members only" when we stopped to ask the best place to park. You see the streets are dirt, bumpy and very narrow.
This historic mining town is privately owned but seemed to welcome visitors, they really appreciate those that come to see the history there that respect their privacy and don't trespass onto the private property.
The views from Jordan Valley to Silver City, Idaho
The roads are closed by snow from early November until late May. Check conditions before visiting. If you do decide to drive there, the road up from Murphy is a lot smoother. We traveled from Jordan Valley and though a very beautiful drive it was an extremely narrow and bumpy road for our car. A pickup, SUV or some type of four wheel driive is definitely recommended. Many of the locals as well as the visitors seemed to travel by four wheeled ATV.
Even the walk to church was quite steep for the townspeople of Silver City
I would love to come back to Silver City and spend more time exploring during their open house. Hoping this church will be open during that time to go into. Just look at those beautiful stain glass windows, what they must look like from inside looking out the sunshine lighting their beauty for the parish to see.
The Old Church in Silver City, Idaho one of the first buildings that caught my eye
One of the first buildings that caught my eye as we entered the old mining town of Silver City, Idaho was this absolutely gorgeous church that sits majestically on the hill above the city, as if it is a guardian angel protecting the people of this small Idaho town.
The Antiques of Silver City, Idaho - Old Vintage Wood cook stove Silver City, Idaho - All photos copyright by Linda Hoxie, all rights reserved
Old antique wash boards in Silver City, Idaho
Old Vintage Car in Silver City, Idaho
The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, Idaho
The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, Idaho
This Idaho Hotel actually used to be in Ruby City, which was the Owyhee County seat at that time. When Silver City became the "New County seat" in 1864, a large three story wing that had just been added to the Hotel in Ruby City, was taken down and moved by sled and skids, that were pulled by oxen in the middle of wiinter to rebuild into the Idaho hotel that now resides in Silver City. They did this because there were dozens of mining camps springing up there. It was put together just in time for their Christmas Ball that year. Other homes and buildings were popping up all over as this mining community began to thrive.
Silver City Citizens Masons I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Idaho - Established in 1871 and 1876
Silver City Citizens Masons I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Idaho
"I will accompense the woes of earth
to think that we'll dwell with him in heaven"
By Photographer Linda Hoxie
Old Rod Iron fences adorn the graves in a protective embrace
Rusted rod iron at the cemetery in Silver City Idaho - Beautiful rod iron fences
Alfred Hicks headstone - Alfred Hicks Born June 29, 1853, Died August 29, 1896
As you enter the town of Silver City you will see the Silver City Cemetery off to the right across the creek. It sits up a rocky hill and is a nice little walk from where you park in town. If you choose to visit Silver City, the cemetery is a something you should not miss visiting. You can feel the honor and love that the families that buried their loved ones on this rocky hillside must have felt for their dearly departed ones. What a beautiful memorial each headstone is to that honored person that rests below it.
Below lets honor those that lived so long ago with some photos of their headstones.
Born June 29, 1853
August 29, 1896
By Photographer Linda Hoxie
Jacob Deary Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho - Jacob Deary Born October 1, 1846 Died February 27, 1899
Born October 1, 1846
February 27, 1899
By Photographer Linda Hoxie
James Lyman Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho - Born December 3, 1820 died January 20, 1893
Born December 3, 1820
January 20 1893
Wm J. Blake Headstone Silver City Cemetery in Idaho
Wm J. Blake
October 31, 1831
July 31 1875
Last Resting Place of Helene Emilia & Albert John - Beloved Children of Fred & Wilhelmina Grete Sr. (Helene)
Last Resting Place of
Helene Emilia & Albert John
Beloved Children of
Fred & Wilhelmina Grete Sr.
Died October 6th 1871 age 4 years
Died April 22 1871 age 16 months
God in his wisdom called ye home
In your pure, sweet innocence
Here lies an Honest Man - Oliver Hazard Purdy
Oliver Hazard Purdy
"Here lies an Honest Man"
Barre Orleans Co
Sept. 12, 1824
Killed Bannock Indian War
June 8, 1878
"He was always ready for battle when the bugle sounded.
He never flinched from duty."
(the initials F.L.T. in the three chain links)
Erected by the Historical Society 1961
Â© By Photographer Linda Hoxie
Thomas Jefferson Headstone in Silver City cemetery, in Idaho
Mr. & Mrs. J.C. Hadley
July 4, 1886
Aug 29, 1903
(Note: not positive I have the year right, it could by 1963)
The Past Embraces the Present
Front view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City
Side view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho - The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho built right over the creek
The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho shows the date of 1881 on the front of it. Though it is told that it was originally built in the 1860s as a planning mill.
The Masonic Hall was built right over the creek
Side view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho
Rear view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho - This Hall saw many masked Balls here in Silver City years ago!
Rear view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho
When viewing the Masonic Hall, or grange hall as we call them in Idaho. You can see that The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho was built right over the top of the creek.
After being built as a mill, The Masonic Hall's top floor started being used by the local residents for entertainment. It is told that many masked balls were held there. Ah, the stories those walls could tell if they could speak!
The Drug Store at Silver City, Idaho - There are many of these vintage buildings still open for business
There are many of these vintage buildings still open for business. There is also an open house the 2nd weekend after Labor Day. They open around 10 of the buildings for people to explore.
Read more about the Silver City Open House
The old Silver City Schoolhouse, side view - Very Ornate details on this Old Schoolhouse
The old Silver City Schoolhouse, side view
At first glance you see what looks like a pretty new school house built in colonial style. The ornate details around the date at the top and the columns along the windows are just beautiful. As you get closer you see that it is currently being restored. The age of the building is apparently in the condition of the gorgeous wood, aged to perfection as wood does. It shows the passage of time. I love to think about what it must have been like to go to this old schoolhouse, probably brand new at that time, huge for its time. Sharing one room with all ages of children. Learning the basics; reading, writing and arithmetic.
Lessons were learned in and out of school. During the colonial times the lessons were hard work is something to be proud of. Honor thy name because it is the only thing no one can take away from you. You and you alone are responsible to protect it's credibility. A handshake was a binding contract. Know and help your neighbors as they will know and help you too. Families stuck together, and worked hard just to survive back then. A simple time it was, but also with harsh realities.
Front view of The old Silver City Schoolhouse - The Historic Silver City School Foundation is restoring this schoolhouse
Front view of The old Silver City Schoolhouse
The sign in front of the schoolhouse reads as follows:
"Silver City School Restoration
The Historic Silver City School Foundation
Major support from
Senator Larry Craig
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Thomas May in memory of Eric May
The Idaho Heritage Trust
General Contractor: Brice Construction
Historical Architect: Frederick L. Walters
Consulting Engineer: Keith W. Jones PE/SE"
The sign on the top right reads: Idaho Standard School
Another view of the front of the Silver City Schoolhouse - I am so glad they are restoring this beautiful old school house in Silver City
Silver City Fire and Rescue Truck - Emergency Medical Services Truck
This Silver City Fire and Rescue Truck sits ready and willing to go on the top of the hill in Silver City, Idaho
The Character of the Town - Keeping with old times
When we visited Silver City we were so surprised how pristine and well preserved to the era of a mining towns glory days. The residents of Silver City seem to take great pride in preserving their heritage, and we are so thankful that they have decided to do this. Like their forefathers before them they must struggle at times to live in such a remote area. Far away from modern conveniences like electricity. You see some solar panels on the top of some of the buildings, might hear a generator running or see a four wheeler drive by that gives you a hint that we are indeed in modern time.
Each porch has antiques displayed that coincide with the time that this little mining town was booming.
I found the town to have much character and pride. The following pictures speak for themselves as you glimpse a few more views of Silver City.
Old cow head on barn
Old front porch in a ghosttown
Old vintage pickup at Silver City, Idaho
If you know the Vintage, Make and Model of this Pickup, please drop me a note below. Thank you!
Old vintage cook stove at Silver City in Idaho
Old vintage car in Silver City, Idaho
A bit of a newer barn
The town character - Silver City, Idaho
The old outhouse, morning star road
The Front Porch in Silver City
Public toilet - Silver City Idaho
Old vintage wood cook stove silver city
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and visit this page about Silver City Mining town in Idaho. I really appreciate you taking the time to drop a note below. Please tell us if you have been to Silver City, Idaho and what you saw there.
© 2010 Linda Hoxie