Magazine article Sunset

Ghost-Town Getaway

Magazine article Sunset

Ghost-Town Getaway

Article excerpt

Tour historic Silver City on a mountain drive near Boise

Street names in Silver City resound with the Idaho mining town's storied past. Avalanche Avenue recalls the Owyhee Daily Avalanche, the first daily newspaper in the Idaho Territory, and Dead Man's Alley was indeed the scene of one stabbing and two shootings in the late 1800s.

Of course, ever since the mining boom of the 19th century went bust, life in this surprisingly well-preserved mountain town 70 miles southwest of Boise has been pretty quiet. The newspaper is long gone-probably because as the mining dwindled, there was no more news from Dead Man's Alley.

There's no gasoline, no electricity, and no mail delivery, either. These days Silver City is a part-time ghost town: a summer population of about 25 families and a steady trickle of visitors exploring Owyhee Mountains backroads are all that keep it going.

People still congregate, as they have for about 140 years, at the slightly ramshackle Idaho Hotel, which rents out rustic rooms. Stop in for a short-order meal and a cold brew. Fancier family-style dinners ($8-$17; reservations required) are served Saturday nights and sometimes on Fridays.

Sit awhile on the porch-in 1868 rival miners J. …

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