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Silver City, Idaho

Updated on October 8, 2014
ArtByLinda profile image

The author is an amateur artist and photographer that loves to travel with her husband of 35 years.

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 Views from Jordan Valley to Silver City Idaho
The Views from Jordan Valley to Silver City Idaho | Source

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

walk to church was quite steep for the townspeople of Silver City
walk to church was quite steep for the townspeople of Silver City | Source

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

A view of the Old Church at Silver City from afar
A view of the Old Church at Silver City from afar | Source

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 Vintage Wood cook stove Silver City, Idaho
Old Vintage Wood cook stove Silver City, Idaho

Old antique wash boards in Silver City, Idaho

Old antique wash boards in Silver City, Idaho
Old antique wash boards in Silver City, Idaho | Source

Old Vintage Car in Silver City, Idaho

Old Vintage Car in Silver City, Idaho
Old Vintage Car in Silver City, Idaho | Source

The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, Idaho

The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, Idaho
The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, Idaho | Source

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
Silver City Citizens Masons I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Idaho

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

Old Rod Iron fences adorn the graves in a protective embrace
Old Rod Iron fences adorn the graves in a protective embrace | Source

Rusted rod iron at the cemetery in Silver City Idaho - Beautiful rod iron fences

I absolutely love the old rusted and well patina'd rod iron fences and gates in the cemetery. They are just built with such character, ornate and beautiful they only get better with age. This fence says: PAT Champion Iron Fence Co Kenton Ohio W.V
I absolutely love the old rusted and well patina'd rod iron fences and gates in the cemetery. They are just built with such character, ornate and beautiful they only get better with age. This fence says: PAT Champion Iron Fence Co Kenton Ohio W.V

Alfred Hicks headstone - Alfred Hicks Born June 29, 1853, Died August 29, 1896

Alfred Hicks headstone, Born June 29th, 1853
Alfred Hicks headstone, Born June 29th, 1853

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.

Alfred Hicks

Born June 29, 1853

Died

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

Jacob Deary Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho
Jacob Deary Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho

Jacob Deary

Born October 1, 1846

Died

February 27, 1899

By Photographer Linda Hoxie

James Lyman Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho - Born December 3, 1820 died January 20, 1893

James Lyman Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho
James Lyman Headstone Silver City cemetery in Idaho | Source

James Lyman

Born December 3, 1820

Died

January 20 1893


Wm J. Blake Headstone Silver City Cemetery in Idaho

Wm J. Blake Headstone Silver City Cemetery in Idaho
Wm J. Blake Headstone Silver City Cemetery in Idaho | Source

Wm J. Blake

Born

October 31, 1831

Died

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
Last Resting Place of Helene Emilia & Albert John

Last Resting Place of

Helene Emilia & Albert John

Beloved Children of

Fred & Wilhelmina Grete Sr.

(Helene)

Died October 6th 1871 age 4 years

(Albert)

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

Here lies an Honest Man
Here lies an Honest Man

Oliver Hazard Purdy

"Here lies an Honest Man"

Born

Barre Orleans Co

New York

Sept. 12, 1824

Killed Bannock Indian War

June 8, 1878

His Motto

"Forewarned, Forearmed"

His Creed

"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

© By Photographer Linda Hoxie

Thomas Jefferson Headstone in Silver City cemetery, in Idaho

Thomas Jefferson Headstone in Silver City cemetery, in Idaho
Thomas Jefferson Headstone in Silver City cemetery, in Idaho | Source

Thomas Jefferson

Son of

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

The Past Embraces the Present
The Past Embraces the Present | Source

Front view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City

Front view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City
Front view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City | Source

Side view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho - The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho built right over the creek

Side view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho
Side view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho | Source

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
Rear view of The Masonic Hall in Silver City, Idaho | Source

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

The Drug Store at Silver City, Idaho
The Drug Store at Silver City, Idaho | Source

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
The old Silver City Schoolhouse, side view | Source

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
Front view of The old Silver City Schoolhouse | Source

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

Another view of the front of the Silver City Schoolhouse
Another view of the front of the Silver City Schoolhouse | Source

Silver City Fire and Rescue Truck - Emergency Medical Services Truck

Silver City Fire and Rescue Truck
Silver City Fire and Rescue Truck | Source

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

Cattle Skull
Cattle Skull | Source

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

Source

Old front porch in a ghosttown

Source

Old vintage pickup at Silver City, Idaho

Source

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

Source

Old vintage car in Silver City, Idaho

Source

A bit of a newer barn

Source

The town character - Silver City, Idaho

Source

The old outhouse, morning star road

Source

The Front Porch in Silver City

Source

Public toilet - Silver City Idaho

Yes that is my pom, using the "Public Toilet".
Yes that is my pom, using the "Public Toilet". | Source

Old vintage wood cook stove silver city

Source

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.

Thank you,

Linda

© 2010 Linda Hoxie

Thank you - Please sign my guestbook - Thank you for visiting

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Sounds like an interesting place to see! Thanks for sharing.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      This was a great trip, thanks for taking me along.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 3 years ago

      Love your photos! They really capture the essence of the town. Hope to travel there some day. Thanks for the virtual tour.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great lens - love the tombstone details. Would love to visit Silver City at some point with camera in hand :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi Linda! Loved looking at your beautiful pictures of Silver City. I haven't been there since I was in middle school in Fruitland (a very long time ago) and one of my teachers took us there on a field trip. He owns/owned one of the buildings in town. I took a lot of pictures that day myself and still look at them often. Just so you know, the Masonic Lodge building it is not a Grange Hall. The Grange and Masons are two different organizations.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @jennabeezer: Hi Jenna, nice to meet another Idaho native. If you are taking a road trip to Silver City, try to get to see Leslie Gulch too. It is in Oregon mostly but pretty close to Silver City. If you haven't seen it, it is like a little miniature Zions Canyon. One of those hidden gems on those gravel roads hardly anyone knows about. Have a wonderful summer and thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      jennabeezer 4 years ago

      Hello from another native Idahoan! These are great photos - we have a beautiful state! Sadly there is much of it I've never seen. Our family is planning a few road trips this summer so we'll be sure to include Silver City on our itinerary. Thanks!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @Linda BookLady: I haven't been to Bodie Linda but might just have to check it out.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @anonymous: Tipi, thank you so much. I am really happy that you enjoyed it. Also very thankful that it was showcased by the Editor of the day, very cool!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @Hairdresser007: That is very cool that you remember it. I lived here for 30 years in Idaho before I even knew it existed. One of those hidden treasures, like Leslie Gulch.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @aesta1: I hope you make it here. :)

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 4 years ago from Burbank, CA

      Such a great lens! So great to read through it and see the pictures. I grew up in Idaho and I remember going there a couple of times as a teenager. Thank you!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @ecogranny: Absolutely, I don't mind in fact really appreciate it. It always helps to have a second set of eyes! :) Appreciate you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @ArtByLinda: You're welcome. I hoped you wouldn't mind, as I would want a reader to do the same for me.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @ecogranny: That is cool that you have been there and saw it as it once was. Thank you for stopping by and for pointing out that time traveler, I fixed him. :)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      It's been more decades than I care to remember since I last visited Silver City, and boy has it changed. Back then, it was truly a ghost town. I think there was a teeny, tiny, very musty museum open on the day we were there, and nothing else. All of the buildings were decrepit and falling down. None were painted.

      Except for the lone person in the museum, we saw not another soul, nor sign of one. None of the headstones in the cemetery were anything as clean and lovely as the ones you photographed. Btw, Jacob Deary was quite the time traveler, eh? : )

      It is lovely to see the the church restored so grandly on the top of the hill. What a change! And so beautiful! It had no remaining glass windows all those years ago, let alone stained glass. The restorers are doing a lovely job of reclaiming the town and making it into a historical attraction.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have never been to Idaho. Maybe, one day.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How delightful to explore Silver City with you as a tour guide, I found myself trying to peek around you pictures to no miss hidden treasures of the past. I remember old timers still using those wood fired cook stoves when I was growing up and often having another one outside somewhere for those hot summer days when they didn't want to heat up the kitchen. Love the crossroads sign by the outhouse, everyone could find that for sure. This is probably as close as I'll ever get but you sure do a full service experience! Congratulations on be chosen by the Editor for a Day and for your purple star that will always shine here! :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      This reminds me of Bodie, the most famous ghost town in California. It was also a silver town. Now it is a state park.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great pictures. Several of my relatives mined here in the late 19th century, and I was really interested to see what the town looks like now. Wish I could visit.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @WindyWintersHubs: Thank you WindyWinters I hope you do get to visit!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @LoKackl: Thank you!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you so much!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      @oztoo lm: You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cherokee

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I'm featuring some of your Idaho lenses on my (in progress) Idaho Quiz lens. What a beautiful place!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful lens! I'm featuring your lens on my lens on Idaho: https://hubpages.com/travel/idaho-lesson-plan .

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Great shots of the historic town. I enjoyed the tour.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Beautiful photos...love that old church...Blessed and added to my United States Travel Angel lens.

    • profile image

      gloriafox 6 years ago

      amazing history lens! very informative

    • brumot profile image

      brumot 6 years ago

      Wonderful! Looks like I need to visit.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Great photos

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 6 years ago

      Linda - This is a fabulous lens! I'm really into genealogy and some of my family went west to Idaho in the late 1800s, so it's especially interesting to me. I love it that another commenter found his great grandfather's headstone on your lens! The pictures and narrative are wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing Silver City!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A very fun place to visit. Truly a piece of the old west and I hope it stays that way. I am anxious to see the school house once it is finished and furnished.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing some wonderful pictures of a very special place. Visiting your website was like a trip back in time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice pictures Linda. Last time I was in Silver City, I was about 10 years old (so that was over 40 years ago). Looks better now than I remember. Nice to see the headstone of Jacob Deary...he was my great grandfather. My cousin wrote a book - "historical fiction" called Silver City that is very interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi Linda, I looked at a lot of these when you first sent the email but I looked at all of them today finally! It looks like a really neat place! Today I also enjoyed reading all your descriptions and comments. You did a fantastic job with this. You would be great at writing tourist brochures. Thanks for sharing. You did a lot of work on this and it came out great and very professional! Love you!!! Joy

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      What a lovely lens. photos are wonderful, specially i love that slide show. congrats on your purple star.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congratulations on your Purple Star! I really enjoyed learning about this historic mining town. Your photos are spectacular and I enjoyed my visit. I will have to put this town on my trip list! :)

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star! Silver city Idaho photos are delightful

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What a fascinating look at the history of this small mining town in Idaho. The Silver City residents are obviously very proud of their heritage. Your photographs are stunning!. Thanks for the tour in pictures!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this tour of Silver City. Your photo's are, as always, beautiful. Looks like a fascinating and beautiful place to visit. The fact that people still live there and preserve all this wonderful history makes it even more interesting. Great lens.