“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Pierce in Clearwater County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Pierce Gold Rush

Pierce Gold Rush Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 6, 2018
1. Pierce Gold Rush Marker
Inscription.  A few weeks later, a larger group of men and horses made a second journey to Pierce. The group passed near several Nez Perce Indian encampments, which had not seen many white men since Lewis and Clark passed through almost fifty years prior. The Indians seemed friendly and caused no difficulty, but an Indian agent, A.J. Cain, was less cooperative. As the area was the Nez Perce Reservation, he attempted to stop the miners from reaching their destination. First, he tried to persuade the Indian ferry not to transport them across the river. When that failed, he sent 100 United States dragoons with orders to stop the miners, which also failed due to bad weather. Without incident, the group reached Canal Gulch ten days later, and began setting up camp. Eight rustic cabins were quickly built, which were the first buildings in what was to become Pierce City. The mining started on February 28, 1861, when the Boston Company, which included W.F. Basset and John W. Parks, started shoveling pay gravel into their sluices. Because of freezing temperatures, mining was difficult, but the prospectors could see the fine gold through the ice. Each day they struggled
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to move some more; sometimes several feet of snow had to be shoveled first. By March 1861, enough gold had been mined that J.C. Smith snow-shoed to Walla Walla, where the $800 in gold caused a great deal of excitement. The rush to the Pierce mines was on.

Text adapted from Layne Gellner Spencer's "And Five Were Hanged", c 1971.)
Erected by Jonathan Syed, Eagle Scout Project.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Resources. A significant historical date for this entry is February 28, 1861.
Location. 46° 28.296′ N, 115° 49.08′ W. Marker is near Pierce, Idaho, in Clearwater County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 11 at milepost 27 near Fromelt Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pierce ID 83546, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gold Discovered (a few steps from this marker); Boom & Chinese of Pierce (a few steps from this marker); Murder & Vigilantes (a few steps from this marker); Chinese Hanging (a few steps from this marker); Oro Fino City (approx. one mile away); Chinese Cemetery (approx. 1.4 miles away); Pierce Courthouse (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Pierce Courthouse (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pierce.
Pierce Gold Rush Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 6, 2018
2. Pierce Gold Rush Marker
sectionhead>More about this marker. This marker is on a short trail leading north to the site of the Chinese Hanging.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 234 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 15, 2024