Murray, Idaho

Coordinates: 47°37′38″N 115°51′31″W / 47.62722°N 115.85861°W / 47.62722; -115.85861
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Murray, Idaho
Murray Masonic Hall in 2021
Murray Masonic Hall in 2021
Murray is located in Idaho
Murray is located in the United States
Coordinates: 47°37′38″N 115°51′31″W / 47.62722°N 115.85861°W / 47.62722; -115.85861
CountryUnited States
2,772 ft (845 m)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)208, 986
GNIS feature ID396938[2]

Murray is an unincorporated community in Shoshone County, Idaho, United States. It is twenty miles from Wallace along Dobson Pass Road. Prichard Creek flows through the community, forming a thin and deep valley in the surrounding Coeur d'Alene Mountains.


The community was named for George Murray, a mining prospector.[3] Murray was one of several boisterous mining camps that became active in the late 1880s in Northern Idaho. Mines operated in the area from the 1880s to the 1950s. In 1884, a judge fined Wyatt Earp $65 for claim jumping after he forced William Payne off his land at gunpoint near Murray.[4]

There was never a Northern Pacific line serving Murray. The line was built by the Idaho Northern Railroad in 1908. The Idaho Northern was taken over by the Oregon–Washington Railroad and Navigation Company (OWR & N) on March 1, 1911. It served as a branch line from Enaville, Idaho until the 1933 flood washed out much of the line. It was then abandoned. A Northern Pacific railroad line served the community for two years during the 1910s.[5]

A post office was established at Murray in 1884, and remained in operation until 1959.[6] When roads was rebuilt over the dredge spoils in 1997 - 1998, many gold nuggets were found.[7]

1907 Geologic map of Murray, including the locations of the Golden Chest, Bear Top and Paragon mines

Murray's population was estimated at 500 in 1909,[8] and was estimated at 100 in 1960.[9]

Notable person[edit]

The chemist and biochemist John D. Ferry (1912–2002) attended a one-room school in Murray.


Today[when?] Murray is inhabited by prospectors, loggers, and retirees. Two businesses remain open, the Sprag Pole Restaurant and Museum and the Bedroom Goldmine Bar. The Sprag Pole occupies one of the town's original buildings, built in 1884.[10]


  1. ^ "Murray ZIP Code". 2022. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Murray, Idaho
  3. ^ Earl, Larry W. (Nov 2, 1990). "Early Idaho mining district makes great driving tour". Spokane Chronicle. p. 13. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ Brodwater, Mike (November 5, 2005). "Gazing into Murray's past". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Victoria E. (March 2000). History of Selected Mines in the Pine Creek Area, Shoshone County, Idaho (Report). Idaho Geological Survey. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "Shoshone County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Home".
  8. ^ Davis, Ellis A. (1909). Davis' New Commercial Encyclopedia: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, the Pacific Northwest. Ellis A. Davis. p. 189.
  9. ^ World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. I. Field Enterprises Corporation. 1960. p. 27.
  10. ^ Derig, Betty (1996). Roadside History of Idaho. Missoula: Mountain Press. p. 324. ISBN 0878423273.

External links[edit]

Media related to Murray, Idaho at Wikimedia Commons