Silver City, Idaho

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Silver City Historic District
SilverCityID.jpg
Silver City in 1892
Silver City, Idaho is located in Idaho
Silver City, Idaho
Location Owyhee County, Idaho
Nearest city Jordan Valley, Oregon
Coordinates 43°01′01″N 116°43′59″W / 43.01694°N 116.73306°W / 43.01694; -116.73306Coordinates: 43°01′01″N 116°43′59″W / 43.01694°N 116.73306°W / 43.01694; -116.73306
Area 10,240 acres (41.4 km2)
Governing body U.S. Bureau of Land Management
NRHP Reference # 72000446[1]
Added to NRHP May 19, 1972

Silver City is a ghost town in Owyhee County, Idaho, United States. At its height in the 1880s it was a gold and silver mining town with a population of around 2,500 and approximately 75 businesses. Silver City served as county seat of Owyhee County from 1867 to 1934. Today, the town has about 70 standing buildings, all of which are privately owned. Many of the owners are third- or fourth-generation descendants of the original miners. There are a handful of small businesses, but no gas or service stations.

Our Lady of Tears, Silver City

Silver City was founded in 1864 soon after silver was discovered at nearby War Eagle Mountain (elev. 8,065 ft (2,458 m)). The settlement grew quickly and was soon considered one of the major cities in Idaho Territory. The first daily newspaper and telegraph office in Idaho Territory were established in Silver City. The town was also among the first places in present-day Idaho to receive electric and telephone service.

The placer and quartz vein mines became depleted around the time Idaho became a state in 1890. Due in part to its extremely remote location, Silver City began a slow decline but was never completely abandoned. Small-scale mining continued off and on until World War II; the last mine to be operated all year round in Silver City was the Potossi, managed by Ned Williams. The Idaho Hotel in Silver City was restored and re-opened in 1972. Propane refrigerators and stoves make it possible to have cold drinks and snacks or a complete meal, during the summer months. Indoor plumbing, antique furnished hotel rooms, and showers make it an enjoyable get-away location.

In 1972, the townsite and its environs were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, the Silver City Historic District, with a total area of 10,240 acres (41.4 km2).[1]

Geography[edit]

Silver City is located at 43°01′01″N 116°43′59″W / 43.01694°N 116.73306°W / 43.01694; -116.73306,[2] at an elevation of 6,179 feet (1,883 m) above sea level. It is located 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Murphy (elev. 2,820 feet (860 m)), via a dirt road.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 960
1880 593 −38.2%
1890 583 −1.7%
1900 976 67.4%
1910 650 −33.4%
1920 630 −3.1%
1930 183 −71.0%
1940 165 −9.8%
1950 110 −33.3%
source:[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 98.

External links[edit]