View Single Post
Old Posted Dec 20, 2010, 12:28 AM
Sawtooth's Avatar
Sawtooth Sawtooth is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Northend Historic District, Boise
Posts: 2,966
Placerville, Idaho~Gold Mining Ghost Town|Part of the Richest Gold Rush in The USA

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.

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.
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:

Highlights from the drive between Boise and Placerville


A few shots from inside of the museum

The Episcopal Church built in 1894 and the only remaining church in town.

Up on a hillside above the town is the Historic Cemetery

Zooming from the cemetery over Placerville.

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

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

🌲Keep Idaho Green🌲
Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along The Woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.
William Allingham

Last edited by Sawtooth; Dec 22, 2010 at 1:56 AM.
Reply With Quote