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Soda Springs in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Caribou Mountain

The Only Gold Rush in Southeastern Idaho

 
 
Caribou Mountain Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
1. Caribou Mountain Marker
Captions: (center left) Gold mining buildings on Carriboo Mountain; (bottom left) The Greenhouse Hotel at Carriboo City; (map, bottom center) Caribou Mountain is located about 50 miles northeast of Soda Springs near the Wyoming/Idaho border.; (bottom right) Nineteenth century hydraulic mining used high-pressure jets of water to dislodge material and send the water-sediment slurry though sluice boxes to remove the gold.
Inscription.
The magnet of gold
In 1870, high in the remote Caribou Range of the middle Rocky Mountains, in southeastern Idaho, gold was discovered by intrepid gold-seekers. Tales of gold and wealth drew thousands to the West during the mid-19th century seeking fame and fortune. Famous gold strikes in California, Nevada, Montana, Northern Idaho, and Canada attracted a continuous stream of miners searching every hillside and stream for potential riches. Southeastern Idaho was no exception.

"Boom towns" grew up on Caribou Mountain beginning about 1870 including:
Keenan City
Iowa Bar
Carriboo City
Within a few years, Carriboo City boasted a three-story hotel and saloons with dancing girls. By the 1880s, four stage coaches traveled from Soda Springs to Carriboo City three days a week, exchanging miners and supplies.
Estimates of gold production on Caribou Mountain vary from less than a million to many millions of dollars.
Today, little remains of the colorful gold towns on Caribou Mountain.

Keenan and Caribou Cities
It was the summer of 1870 when John Keenan, Jesse Fairchilds, Frank McCoy and F.S. Babcock, miners from Cariboo, British Coumbia, found gold on Caribou Mountain. Soon Carriboo City and Keenan City became two of the largest
Caribou Mountain Marker in Geyser Park image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
2. Caribou Mountain Marker in Geyser Park
settlements on the mountain in its mining heyday. Caribou mining was unique. All the miners, including the Chinese, reportedly mined and lived side-by-side on the mountain during the six-month mining period. Snow and extreme cold forced most miners to leave the mountain for the remaining months.
Note: In 1907, Carriboo and Cariboo, became known as Caribou.)

"It is so, I'll let you know I am from Cariboo."
Jesse Farichilds (1836-1881) was quite a local personality. To all that would listen, Fairchilds repeated embellished stores of his life at Cariboo, British Columbia where he had previously mined. If people didn't quite believe his tall tales, he reportedly replied, "It is so, I'll let you known I am from Cariboo."
Carriboo Jack's luck ran out when he met a grizzly bear that took his life. Jesse "Carriboo Jack" Fairchilds is buried in the Soda Springs Fairview Cemetery.

Hydraulic Mining
Hydraulic mining, a large-scale method for placer mining, was developed in California in 1853 and utilized in the mining towns of Caribou Mountain.
Billy Clemens, cousin to "Mark Twain," served as postmaster of Carriboo City, 1883-1898. He had three hydraulic giants in operation in the Iowa District.
The hydraulic monitor located at this site was removed near Iowa Creek
Hydraulic Monitor image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
3. Hydraulic Monitor
Hydraulic monitor used in sluice mining on Mt. Pisqah, later Caribou Mountain. It was removed near Iowa Creek in Aug. of 1987 of an Eagle Scout Project. Donated to Caribou County Historical Society, inc. by Lowell C. and Joyce Thomas.
on Caribou Mountain in August 1987 for an Eagle Scout Project and donated to Caribou Historical Society by Lowell C. and Joyce Thomas.
 
Location. 42° 39.414′ N, 111° 36.245′ W. Marker is in Soda Springs, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on East 1st Street South near South Main Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Soda Springs ID 83276, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George W. and Leah Wallet Gorton (within shouting distance of this marker); The Springs of Soda Springs (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dinkey Engine (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "It Roars Like a Mad Dragon" (about 300 feet away); Ground Observer Corps National Campaign (about 300 feet away); Ground Observer Corps National Planning (about 300 feet away); Ground Observation Corps Soda Springs Post (about 300 feet away); Wagon Box Grave of 1861 (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Soda Springs.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located in Geyser Park.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 29, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 27, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 103 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 27, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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