Road Trip

Go off the grid and visit a ghost town that comes alive ev­ery sum­mer.

Country - - CONTENTS - NORMA RUS­SELL Merid­ian, Idaho

Norma Rus­sell ex­plores the dusty streets of Sil­ver City, Idaho.

AS SOON AS THE SNOW melts, yesteryear pre­vails in Sil­ver City, once a boom­ing min­ing town about 75 miles south­west of Boise in the Owyhee Moun­tains.

To go back in time, sim­ply walk Sil­ver City’s dusty streets. Ex­plore its his­toric build­ings and try to imag­ine what life was like in the 1860s when there were some 400 houses and 125 busi­nesses (in­clud­ing 12 ore-pro­cess­ing mills).

About 65 houses and a few busi­nesses re­main. Now on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places, the town is in a bit of a re­vival. The school has pressed metal above its win­dows and Greek re­vival mo­tifs; Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church, ded­i­cated in 1868, has new stained-glass win­dows and front doors cus­tom-built to match the orig­i­nals.

The town hasn’t had elec­tric­ity since trans­mis­sion lines were re­moved in the 1940s. But Sil­ver City had the ter­ri­tory’s first tele­graph and daily news­pa­per, with phone ser­vice ar­riv­ing by 1880.

Sil­ver City is open to the public from Memo­rial Day un­til early Oc­to­ber. Dur­ing the an­nual Open House, held the sec­ond week­end af­ter La­bor Day, most of the town’s build­ings are open for tours. The fee to wan­der is $10.

THE DIS­COV­ERY OF SIL­VER in the Owyhee Moun­tains gave rise to Sil­ver City (above left). Con­tin­u­ing clock­wise: the school, ru­ins of the old jail and Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.