Silver City Idaho - Road Trips
Silver City Idaho Road Trip
Just about 2 hours from Eagle is the world famous Silver City Idaho.
A Short History of Silver City, Idaho (Curated from Historic Silver City )
Silver City, Idaho is one of the few old mining towns that did not burn down or become commercialized into a modern city. Visiting Silver City is like going back into history. The Idaho Hotel is as it was 100 years ago with a few modern amenities.
Sinker Creek Outfitters will provide you with a historic ride back into history on horse back exploring the Owyhee Mountains, Silver City, Empire City, Ruby City and more.
At Pat's What Not Shop, books, souvenirs, local mineral samples are available.
Silver City Fire and Rescue Store provides Art, Antiques, Gifts & Backroom Bargains.
Rugged and picturesque, the 8,000 feet-high Owyhee Mountains surround Silver City, elevation 6,200'. The history-filled town contains about seventy-five structures that date from the 1860's to the early 1900's.
During its "heydays", Silver City had about a dozen streets, seventy-five businesses, three hundred homes, a population of around 2,500, twelve ore-processing mills, and was the Owyhee County seat from 1866 to 1934. Some of the largest stage lines in the West operated in the area, and Silver City had the first telegraph and the first daily newspaper in the territory in 1874.
Telephones were in use here at least by 1880, and the town was "electrified" in the 1890's. There were four separate burial areas nearby, with a few very interesting stones remaining; some quite large and elaborately carved. All are well worth the hike to see and photograph. More that two dozen camps provided shelter, supplies and amusement for the thousands of people who came to the mountains seeking their fortunes in one way or another.
The ruins of some of these can still be found though nature is reclaiming most of them at an accelerated rate. Almost a dozen cemeteries and many more remote burial sites attest to the hard and sometimes dangerous and violent lives led by many. Hundreds of mines pock-mark and honeycomb the mountains; one had upwards of seventy miles of tunnels laboriously hand-dug through it.
Between 1863 and 1865, more than two hundred and fifty mines were in operation and hundreds more were developed thereafter. Through the seventy-odd years of mining, more than twelve ore-processing mills gleaned rich rewards in tons of gold and silver. Large stacks of gold and silver ingots were photographed for posterity.
At the very least, sixty million dollars worth of precious metals were taken from the area. At today's prices, that amount would be even more impressive. At the present time, there are no major mines operating in the area.
The De Lamar Silver Mine began operation in 1977, shut down in 2000, and is one of the largest open pit gold and silver mines in the U.S.
Today 3 businesses are open in Silver City. The historic Idaho Hotel, Pat's What Not Shop and Silver City Fire & Rescue Store.