Not a Place for Scaredy Cats, Idaho's Ghost Towns

The View of an Idaho CanalSome are afraid of ghost towns, others are fascinated by the history and folklore they embody. Idaho has some prime examples of ghost towns for visitors or residents of Idaho to enjoy. While there are no ghosts, Idaho history is filled with a series of booms and busts; lifestyles come and gone. Gold was found in Pierce, Idaho in the 1860s and later silver and copper were discovered. Towns were built, became bustling hubs of activities, then slipped into disuse and decay as the population moved elsewhere. This left Idaho filled with memories of dreams and disappointments – and ghost towns.  

If you are planning to buy Boise Idaho real estate, I am sure you are aware of the riches this modern state has to offer. But to truly understand Idaho, you should visit some of the sites of its rich past. Listed below are just a few of the more notable ghost towns in Idaho.  

Bayhorse was a silver mining town nestled on the edge of Bayhorse Creek. It was founded in 1877 and a smelter, stamp mill and kilns were built for processing the ore. Lining the main street were saloons, stores and boarding houses. The remains of some buildings and the kilns are still visible. Bayhorse is in Custer County, seven miles south of Challis.

De Lamar is located along Jordan Creek in the Owyhee Mountains. It was established in 1888 and in the 1890s was a major silver mining and transportation center. At its peak, the De Lamar main street stretched for two miles. The ruins of many of the buildings remain. De Lamar is in Owyhee County near Silver City.

Leesburg was a goldThe Wonderful Idaho Northern Train mining town established in 1866. The town boomed quickly and once had more than 100 businesses to serve its 3000 residents. Along the town’s original main street are the remnants of numerous wooden buildings. The cemetery is located just outside of town. Leesburg is in Lemhi County, south of Salmon.   

Burke once was a thriving silver and lead mining town. The town was established in 1884 and quickly became a thriving town. It was situated at the bottom of a narrow canyon, and instead of having a main street through the center of town, Burke had a railroad. The Hercules and Helca mines were located in Burke and some of the bricks from the Helca site remain. Burke is in Shoshone County near Wallace.

There are many additional ghost towns scattered throughout Idaho; each with its own special history. As a new or present Idaho real estate owner in this amazing state, you owe it to yourself to visit some of Idaho’s ghost towns.

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