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-   -   Placerville, Idaho~Gold Mining Ghost Town|Part of the Richest Gold Rush in The USA (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=187413)

Sawtooth Dec 20, 2010 12:28 AM

Placerville, Idaho~Gold Mining Ghost Town|Part of the Richest Gold Rush in The USA
 
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Placerville is located in the Boise Basin, an area directly north of Boise in a mountain basin behind Mores Mountain, Deer Point, and Shafer Butte, the highest mountains above the city, shown in this pic I took back in Spring in Boise looking over Ann Morrison Park toward the Boise Foothills and Ridge.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...ville/pano.jpg




This area is included in the Boise Metropolitan Area and Placerville is around 12 miles NW of Idaho City. The gold rush in the Boise Basin began in 1862 and by 1863, Idaho City was the largest city in the Northwest and the main city of the Boise Basin and the center of the richest gold rush in American history. http://boise.idgenweb.org/history.html
http://www.suite101.com/content/hist...-basin-a141502
Idaho City will be another photo thread in the near future.

Placerville was discovered in 1862 and during the mining peak had a population of near 5,000. A lot of foreign miners were from Ireland and the area around Placerville and Pioneer City, another mining ghost town nearby, was known as "New Dublin". Included in the gold rush population were a large number of Chinese, Germans, French, Swiss, and Austrians. Surprisingly there were a lot of Portuguese miners from the Azores in the Boise Basin and most of them lived in Placerville. There was so much gold in the area that buildings were built up off the ground so that miners could mine underneath the structures. In 1864, Placerville alone had over 4500 recorded mining claims. President Lincoln signed an act to create Idaho Territory and Placerville officially became a town in 1864.

There isn't a lot left to modern day Placerville. At one time there were dozens of buildings, homes, and a handfull of church buildings, but being located in forest, Placerville was nearly destroyed by forest fires in 1874, was rebuilt and then again nearly destroyed by forest fire in 1899 and by 1900 the mad gold rush was winding down.

The first building was a saloon and the walls of the still standing Masonic Hall are supposedly lined with whiskey bottles for insulation. Placerville was laid out in a street grid with a town plaza, similar to other towns many miners left behind in California before heading to the gold rush in Idaho. The remains are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Here is the link to the first Ghost Town thread I posted earlier this year.
Silver City, Idaho ~ The Ghost Town Queen at the Top of the Owyhee Mountains


Enough history and time for photos:









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Highlights from the drive between Boise and Placerville


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Placerville



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A few shots from inside of the museum




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The Episcopal Church built in 1894 and the only remaining church in town.
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Up on a hillside above the town is the Historic Cemetery


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Zooming from the cemetery over Placerville.




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Views from the drive along the mountain pass between Placerville and Idaho City, this area is about 30 miles from Boise









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Idaho City, just a few for now, a thread is in the works.





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xzmattzx Dec 20, 2010 2:45 AM

Aweome! Placerville looks like it's still inhabited, based on road signs, the handicapped church entrance, mowed lawns, and some cars. How does it feel now? Pretty deserted? Like a regular run-down town if someone didn't know the history?

The scenery pictures are great as well. It must be fun going up into the mountains.

I'm looking forward to your Idaho City thread. It looks like it will look nice in Winter or Spring weather.

highriser1 Dec 20, 2010 4:51 AM

This is highly interesting. I'll watch for your other posts.

Sawtooth Dec 20, 2010 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xzmattzx (Post 5099117)
Aweome! Placerville looks like it's still inhabited, based on road signs, the handicapped church entrance, mowed lawns, and some cars. How does it feel now? Pretty deserted? Like a regular run-down town if someone didn't know the history?

The scenery pictures are great as well. It must be fun going up into the mountains.

I'm looking forward to your Idaho City thread. It looks like it will look nice in Winter or Spring weather.


Thanks xzmattzx. Good questions since since the town is not completely abandoned. Placerville has a deserted look and feel, even though some people live there year round, but there aren't a lot of old structures left, and the museums are only open during the summer, and if I remember correctly, there is a church service on occasion. Areas of the town have grass around the older buildings to help protect them in case of a forest fire.

To get to the town you have to drive on 12 miles of dirt forest roads so Placerville is isolated and I think most people, if they didn't know the history, would start to assume it is an old mining town because of the mines, rusted out and abandoned mining machinery, wooden shacks, that are visible along the drive. Plus it has that look and vibe of most old mining ghost towns in Idaho.

Idaho City has a much larger stock of old buildings, even more than Silver City, so there will be a lot more photos of buildings in the next thread.

jrw21 Dec 21, 2010 5:17 PM

Wow, so much history. Fascinating indeed. If I ever happen to be in the vicinity I'll make the effort to check this place out.

I found this pic to be a little intriguing:
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...rville/065.jpg


Am I reading that right? A 9 year old wife??

xzmattzx Dec 22, 2010 7:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrw21 (Post 5100757)
Wow, so much history. Fascinating indeed. If I ever happen to be in the vicinity I'll make the effort to check this place out.

I found this pic to be a little intriguing:
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...rville/065.jpg


Am I reading that right? A 9 year old wife??

I thought that it was strange too.

Cottonwood Dec 22, 2010 7:46 PM

Nice set Sawtooth! That is a really impressive cemetary and gives a hint of how many diverse people followed the Gold. Looking forward to more...

Sawtooth Dec 24, 2010 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrw21 (Post 5100757)
Wow, so much history. Fascinating indeed. If I ever happen to be in the vicinity I'll make the effort to check this place out.

I found this pic to be a little intriguing:



Am I reading that right? A 9 year old wife??

Quote:

Originally Posted by xzmattzx (Post 5101710)
I thought that it was strange too.

At first I was thinking a "typo" on the headstone, but this is interesting.
Maybe it was an arranged marriage. I'm sure that county or state records might answer the question.

mttop Dec 26, 2010 1:36 AM

This is beautiful. Another great ghost town and history thread, being able to see places like this is a welcome diversion from the cities that are always posted here and being able to see history of the wild unkown west is very interesting, thanks for the thread. Sawtooth, you always put together great threads with grand photography. Keep it up.

photoLith Dec 26, 2010 2:43 AM

What a neat place, I loved the antique bottles, thats one of my main hobbies, antique bottle digging and collecting. Id love some of those Idaho bottles, those are hard to come by.

Boizean Dec 30, 2010 5:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sawtooth (Post 5099004)


Imagine this scene with over 3 feet of additional snow they just received! :cool:


Thanks for the tour Sawtooth. Too bad so little is left after such history.

yerfdog Dec 31, 2010 11:14 PM

Really cool tour.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sawtooth (Post 5103847)
At first I was thinking a "typo" on the headstone, but this is interesting.
Maybe it was an arranged marriage. I'm sure that county or state records might answer the question.

The date of death doesn't really make sense if the town was only established in 1862, so unless the headstone was transported from elsewhere it might be a typo. Maybe they meant 1863...??

Sawtooth Jan 5, 2011 2:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yerfdog (Post 5110353)
Really cool tour.




The date of death doesn't really make sense if the town was only established in 1862, so unless the headstone was transported from elsewhere it might be a typo. Maybe they meant 1863...??

Thanks.

That headstone is a mystery. I don't know if the Barber's buried in Placerville are related to the Barber family who has a lot of history in Boise, if so someone may have the answer, but it would be interesting to find out why the date may be incorrect.

Cottonwood May 18, 2011 4:21 PM

Here is a list I found online of records for this cemetary...looks like Winnie died in 1893.
http://files.usgwarchives.org/id/boi.../cemplacer.txt

the pope May 22, 2011 6:52 PM

I love old timey!

It also helps that this is a place I'll probably never see in my life, but there's just something about Idaho.

Expat May 22, 2011 10:16 PM

History, charm & stunning natural scenery. This thread has been a pleasure.


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