Lucile in Idaho County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Millions in gold – mined mostly in one big year
—came from the high mountain basin around Florence 14 airline miles east from here —
Early prospectors, fanning south from Pierce – Idaho’s first gold camp – came unexpectedly upon rich ground in August 1861. Their secret leaked, golden rumors started an eager rush that fall, and winter famine followed. Next spring, thousands stampeded to Florence, even from the California mines, but the rich claims soon worked out, and the camp had only 575 men by 1863. Today scarcely a trace of the town remains among scars of the old diggings. Original town vanished: side trip ordinarily impracticable.
Erected by Idaho Historical Society & Idaho Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 174.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Idaho State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 45° 32.869′ N, 116° 18.267′ W. Marker is in Lucile, Idaho, in Idaho County. Marker is on U.S. 95 0.4 miles south of McKinley Mine Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pull-out along the west side of US highway 95, overlooking the Salmon River. Marker is in this post office area: Lucile ID 83542, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hydraulic Mining Salmon River Canyon (approx. 4.7 miles away); You've Got Mail (approx. 8.9 miles away).
More about this marker. A large wooden marker in good condition
Also see . . .
1. Florence, Idaho County, Idaho.
Gold was discovered at the present site of Florence by John J. Healy who arrived in September 1861. He and a handful of other men quickly filed claims and reaped the rewards of being the first to find the precious metal. By October, the situation was quickly changing for the miners. Snow was falling and was more than a foot deep by mid-October. The winter of 1861-62 was one of the worst in the Pacific Northwest for some time. Deep snow clogged the passes making the transportation of supplies into the camps limited if not impossible. Sub-zero temperatures killed scores of men either traveling into the mines or trying to leave. (Submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Florence, Idaho History.
In 1861 gold was discovered in the small creeks and gulches in the Florence Basin. Miners began coming into the area and what had started as a small tent city of a few dozen residents grew into a rough and tough, bustling city of 9,000 within a year’s time. Several colorful characters spent time in Florence including Henry (Submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Florence, Idaho Ghost Town.
More than a dozen structures still standing, mostly cabins. There is a cemetery, also a Chinese cemetery. We couldn't find any women in the cemetery. A saloon/bar had been there. The gold mine played out in the late 1800s. (Submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Mining in Idaho: Florence.
Fabulous reports of production at Florence startled the entire Pacific Coast in the fall of 1861. Production got underway within six weeks of the original discovery, and during October and November some of the miners were taking out hundreds of dollars a day. Production reached $50,000 per day in 1862. For a relatively small area, Florence turned out an astonishing production - in the neighborhood of $9,600,000. (Submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.