Idaho Gold

Entries Tagged ‘Idaho Gold’

Custer County Idaho Gold

Custer County was so named for the gold mine that resides in the county. Custer County is named after the General Custer Mine that was discovered as early as 1876. The County is the third largest in the state of Idaho. Over 350,000 ounces of gold have came from the area.

Custer County Gold

Loon Creek District

One of the most popular and most well known districts in the county is the Loon Creek District. Scattered throughout the district are both lode and placer gold deposits. Try gold panning in and near Loon Creek. There is a gold mining ghost town known as Casto in the area just west of Challis, Idaho off of Highway 93. Near the townsite of Casto is a good place to find placer gold. The biggest and most productive mine the area was the Lost Packer Mine.

Lost Packer Mine

The Lost Packer Mine and Mill

Yankee Fork District

Like many districts the Yankee Fork district was worked right up until World War II. Named after the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River, the Yankee Fork District was home to the Custer Mine, which produced over $8 million dollars of lode gold before 1900.  The mill and mine closed in 1905 because apparently the deposit was only rich at a shallow depth. Total gold production for the Yankee Fork District, through 1959 was about 266,600 ounces. Gold was first discovered in Jordan Creek. Jordan Creek was a very rich creek in it’s day giving up an estimated 50,000 ounces of placer gold. Other mines in the area worth mention are the Bonanza Mine and Lucky Boy Mine (Two generic names for mines, used in the day.)

Stanley Basin

Exceptional gold has been found in the Stanley Basin, including along the Salmon River. Every creek or stream in the area produces some amount of gold, especially near the headwaters of Clayton. The Clayton area is surrounded by many gold mines including the so-named Clayton Mine and the area may be the best chance for a weekend prospector to find color. The Stanley Basin is found in Townships 10 and 11 North and Range 12 and 13 East.  Other areas known for gold in the area are Stanley Creek, the area between Robinson Bar and Clayton.

More Areas:

The Nicholia district was mined in the early days. Many lead and silver mines produced a by product of gold.

In the Mackay Area the Copper mines produced a by product of gold in pyrite.

In Township 12 and 13 North and Range 18 East near Bayhorse the area copper and zinc mines produced a by product of gold.

Other Mines in Custer County were/are the Aztec Mine, Black Rock Mine, Buckskin Mine, Cal-Ida Mine, Champion Mine, Copper Basin Mine, Crater Mine, Darlington Shaft, Greenback Mine, Hermit Mine, Keystone Mine, Livingston Mine, Little Livingston Mine, Mountain King Mine, Mule Shoe Mine, Pacific Mine, Wildhorse Mines, Twin Apex Mine, Turtle Mine, Tango Mine, Sunbeam Mine, Star Hope Mine, Skylark Mine, Silverbell Mine, Silver Rute Mine, Seafoam Mine, Riverview Mine and many, many more.

Boise County Idaho Gold

Pioneerville "Photo (C) by Daniel Ter-Nedden /"

Pioneerville was also known as Pioneer City and Hogem. A mining town that was here and gone in handful of time. Pioneerville is located north of Boise off of Highway 21 near Grimes Pass, and still has a few standing buildings. The miners had to endure ore shortages and frequent raids by Indian warriors which led to it’s downfall. Pioneerville was one of the first places to be claimed up in the old days and because there was no room for the hoards of miners who came looking for riches, they moved down Grimes Creek to form another mining town called Centerville (see below). In it’s Hey-Day Pioneerville had a population of over two thousand and had the first post office in the Boise Basin. The Grimes Pass area produced roughly 25,000 ounces of gold. Notable gold mines in the area included the Golden Age Mine, the Mammoth Mine, and the largest producer in the area: the Comeback Mine, which produced 50/50 gold and silver.

Centerville once boasted a population of around three thousand people. Once the white miners left the Chinese miners moved in. Once there were a great number of buildings, today however there only remains the outlines of old timbers that marks the spot. There are rich placer deposits all along Grimes Creek, especially on the way to Placerville (see below). Near Twin Springs, along the Boise River are some rich placer deposits. All area gravels, benches and terraces within the historical waterlines contain placer gold. The Illinois Mine and Gambrinus Mine were large lode producers in the area. Across Grimes Creek to the east is the remains of Twin Sisters Mill.

Placerville is mentioned for the sake of history. It was the key supply point for the mining towns that connected to it. To this day there are many standing, in fair shape buildings including a Saloon.In 1863, Placerville had a population of over five thousand. Placerville is part of the Quartzburg District.

Quartzburg got it’s mining jump-start around 1864, when the Gold Hill Mine was found. The Gold Hill Mine had many employees and was operating for several years and produced a lot of gold. 400,000 ounces or more are estimated to have been mined. The Quartzburg District is located in Township 7 North Range 4 East. The Mountain Chief Mine and the Belshazzar Mine were also notable gold producers in the district. In 1931, a fire destroyed most of the town. Many old mines and smaller mining camps can be found throughout the district.

Idaho City streams and creeks all contain gold. Most notable are Mine Creek, and an area known as Horseshoe Bend on the Payette River. The high bench terraces are very rich between streams in the area.

Between 1863 and today over 3,000,000 ounces of gold has been produced in Boise County.

Further Reading:

Basin of GoldLife in the Boise Basin, 1962-1890
Arthur A. Hart

This book captures the flavor of life in the bustling mining camps in the Boise Basin, an area of roughly 20 square miles in the mountains of southwest Idaho. Gold was discovered there in 1862. The words of those who lived in the Basin in the 19th century have qualities that make them worth quoting — they are often picturesque, witty, charming and humorous.

8×8, Paper, 84 pages, illustrated.