Sometimes it’s fun living out west in a state that is still widely undeveloped. Where else can you find authentic country western saloons or wagon wheels? When we can’t get away for a long weekend or travel more than a couple hours outside of Boise, where do we go? We explore Boise’s own backyard to discover a piece of unique and interesting history hidden up and away in the mountains.
According to the Historic Silver City, Idaho webpage, at it’s height in the late 1800’s, Silver City, similar to Idaho City, was a major town in the Idaho Territory with a population of about 2,500 people and approximately 75 businesses. It was founded after silver was discovered on a nearby mountain. Silver City had the first telegraph and daily newspaper in the Idaho Territory in 1874. It also was one of the first places to receive electric and telephone service in Idaho.
Today, there are only a few open businesses left including Pat’s What-Not Shop, where you can find souvenirs, and the Idaho Hotel, where people can still stay to this day. The Idaho Hotel is virtually the same as it was 100 years ago except for a few modern amenities. In 1972, Silver City was listed as a historic district on the National List of Historic Places.
You can hike up the hill to get a better view of the town or wander the dirt streets to explore the remaining seventy or so privately owned buildings still standing from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.
An old school house stands prominently in town while a little chapel sits up on the hill.
Cows also just hang out in the shade on the side of the road.
It may take some to travel to Silver City, but once you arrive, it’s a direct channel to the past and a friendly reminder of how much the world has changed over the last century. It’s fun to literally step into a place where change is a foreign concept; where time has not eroded the historical significance of a place and transformed it into a modern day metropolis. Silver City is preserved and fixed at a time in history. Today, there are few places that can say the same.