“There’s gold in them thar hills, boys!” That old saying - made famous by writer Mark Twain - is certainly still true in the Boise Basin, a broad region in the mountains northeast of Boise, Idaho. Just two or three years ago, a claim owner found a fine piece photographed by Skip Myers, Boise Basin merchant. (That photo is used on the book’s back cover.) And there’s more where that came from. Exactly where, however, must remain undisclosed. (It’s somewhere within twenty miles of Idaho City.) As in the “old days,” claim-jumping is not unheard of, although the owner is most worried about weekend hobbyists. Gold “made” Idaho Territory, and the Boise River gold country made that happen. Claims in the Panhandle came first, in 1860. But by September 1863 the Basin had nearly five times the population of the first northern gold towns. After a few years, the solo prospector gave way to investors and speculators. Large scale mining continued another ninety years. In the end, miners would extract over $5 billion (at today’s prices) worth of gold out of the region. Later, logging crews came to harvest the area’s vast pine forests. But that too eventually waned. Today, recreation, small-scale logging, and specialized mining drive the local economy. In text and vintage photos, Boise River Gold Country tells the story of those early sourdoughs, investors, loggers, and more. Freighters, merchants, doctors, and others also came to build the settlements. Naturally, that brought in a “rough element” to prey on the honest folks. Some of their stories are here too.
- Used Book in Good Condition