How Mining Shaped Idaho

In: Historical Events

Submitted By yankeewhiskey
Words 1601
Pages 7
Idaho In the early nineteenth century was a diverse landscape, not just one of native people but a rich array of precious minerals, plants, and animals. To early settlers shuffling along the Oregon Trail its daunting mountains and endless valleys must have seemed impenetrable yet awe inspiring. In less than one hundred years this virgin territory would go from its first permanent nonnative settlement in 1809 to becoming the 43th state in the union. The journey Idaho took to statehood is full of boom towns, gold, and Indian Battles and yet despite these hardships men, women, and children flocked to this new land by the thousands. The precious metals found in Idaho’s rocky soil drew Idaho’s first permanent American residents, funded the development of its budding economy but at the same time pushed out the native population who had been living here for centuries, without gold and silver Idaho might have never become the state it is today. Mining has a long history in Idaho, small towns that are now but crumbling buildings on a barren stretch of deserted road were once communities that housed thousands of workers. Silver City is one such example. Built into the rugged expanse of the Rocky Mountains known as the Owyhees, Silver City was founded in 1862. In its prime, this mining town had about 75 businesses, twelve Ore processing plants and 2,500 people that called the dry region home. It was the first place in Idaho to receive electricity and phone service, but despite these modern conveniences, danger was ever present in this rough and tumble mining community. Shootings, riots , and even war with local Indian tribes were an ever present threat between competing interests. One such instance took place in 1878, after being restricted to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation members of the Bannock and Shoshoni tribe had begun to grow increasingly desperate. Food and…...

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