Pat's What Not Shop
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Silver City Fire & Rescue Store
Art, Antiques,Gifts & Backroom Bargains
Silver City Area
Silver City Article
A Short History of Silver City, Idaho
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. 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.
Today 3 businesses are open in Silver City. The historic Idaho Hotel,
Pat's What Not Shop and Silver City Fire & Rescue Store. Each
has a link on the left side of this page to take you to their respective
pages. Also visit ghosttowns.com for more information on Silver City,
Idaho and surrounding mining and ghost towns.
Ghosttowns.com Silver City Page