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Near Markleeville in Alpine County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Historic Silver Mountain City

(Kongsberg)

 
 
Historic Silver Mountain City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 13, 2008
1. Historic Silver Mountain City Marker
Inscription.  
Silver Boom Town in 1866
Population 3000
Remains of City Jail

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1866.
 
Location. 38° 36.322′ N, 119° 46.161′ W. Marker is near Markleeville, California, in Alpine County. Marker is on The Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway (State Highway 4), on the right when traveling east. This marker may only be viewed during late Spring, Summer and early Fall as the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway (State Highway 4) is closed during the winter. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Markleeville CA 96120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Silver Mountain (here, next to this marker); Reynolds Peak (approx. 4.4 miles away); Ebbetts Pass (approx. 4.8 miles away); Webster School (approx. 6.1 miles away); Jacob Markley (approx. 6.1 miles away); Alpine County Courthouse
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(approx. 6.2 miles away); Markleeville General Store (approx. 6.2 miles away); The Lost Whiskey of Raymond (approx. 6.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Markleeville.
 
Regarding Historic Silver Mountain City. This was the County Seat of Alpine County from 1864 - 1875.
The mill as well as an eight-stamp quartz mill, the Buckey No. 2 Mine and other holdings (all located near Silver Mountain some 9 miles south of Monitor on Silver Creek, a tributary of the East Carson River) became the property of a Scotsman by the name of Lewis Chalmers who, in the fall of 1869, purchased the mining concerns and renamed it the Exchequer.
Only remaining sign of this historic mining town are the stone foundation of the city jail and the chimney of the smelter located at Chalmers Mansion.
The city jail building was moved to Markleeville and is now on display at the Alpine County Historical Complex.
Also see: Old Log Jail and Alpine County Historical Complex markers
 
Also see . . .
1. Silver Mountain City. Ghost Towns entry (Submitted on September 14, 2008.) 

2. Chalmer’s Mansion and Pioneer Cemetery. Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway
Historic Silver Mountain City Marker with City Jail Foundation in Background image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 13, 2008
2. Historic Silver Mountain City Marker with City Jail Foundation in Background
Association entry (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. From the Journal of William H. Brewer.
Murphys, California, August 13, 1863: “Recent reputed discoveries of silver ore at Silver Mountain, just east of the crest, on the head-waters of the Carson river, near Ebbetts Pass, have caused much excitement. An old immigrant road over the mountains, via the Big Trees, runs within ten or twelve miles of it and now, suddenly, travel is poring over this route. A stage runs part of the way until the road becomes very rough; then a “saddle train” with a few pack animals takes the passengers and their luggage to the promised land. At Silver Valley [now the site of Lake Alpine] the stages stop and the “saddle trains” start."

Source: Alpine Heritage-A Hundred Years of History*Recreation*Lore in Alpine County 1864-1964 by The Centennial Book Committee, Alpine County Museum
    — Submitted November 23, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

2. Chalmers Mansion
When we bought the house in 1994 the roof had collapsed through the second floor framing.
Silver Mountain - Site of Silver Mines image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 13, 2008
3. Silver Mountain - Site of Silver Mines
We have had support from Markleeville people and local Museum to help with restoration. Next is the chimney.
Found a round flat stone about a foot in diameter hidden in the ceiling over the entrance and have only a few ideas as to what it was for.
Syd Whittle (HMdb Contributing Editor), has introduced new information along with the postcard we have never seen! Thank you.
    — Submitted March 21, 2009, by David B Merrick of Carmichael, California.
 
Historic Silver Mountain image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, July 31, 2006
4. Historic Silver Mountain
Looking Southeast from Highway 4
Main Street - Silver Mountain City image. Click for more information.
Photographed By Lawrence & Houseworth, Publisher, 1866
5. Main Street - Silver Mountain City
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington
Click for more information.
Ruins of City Jail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 13, 2008
6. Ruins of City Jail
Vintage Postcard - Chalmers Mansion and Smelter image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Frashers Foto
7. Vintage Postcard - Chalmers Mansion and Smelter
Description on Postcard: First smelter on this site established in 1862 by Donald Davidison. Last owned by Lord Louis Chalmers through the 1870's
Vintage Postcard - City Jail Foundation image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Frashers Foto
8. Vintage Postcard - City Jail Foundation
Description on Postcard: The Jail Ruins - All that remain of Silver Mountain a frontier mining community with a population about 3000 in 1863
Chalmers Family Cemetery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, August 23, 2006
9. Chalmers Family Cemetery
This small cemetery, just west of Chalmers Mansion, is said to be the burial site of Nettie Chalmers, along with Lewis and Nettie's young son who drowned in Silver Creek, the remains of her first son Henry Laughton and those of Lewis Chalmer's oldest son who had visited from Scotland and died in Silver Mountain at the age of 20.
Chalmers Mansion image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, July 6, 2009
10. Chalmers Mansion
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 4,997 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on July 24, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 15, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   4. submitted on January 4, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   5. submitted on May 23, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   6, 7, 8. submitted on September 15, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   9. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   10. submitted on July 8, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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Feb. 29, 2024