Center of North Idaho's
Placer Mining
(Part of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District
now known as the Silver Valley)

Murray, Idaho.  1895 Murray is a small town now - immensely proud of it's heritage, home of the SPRAGPOLE MUSEUM-BAR-CAFE (a 'must see' attraction.) Just down the block is the BEDROOM MINE BAR; the previous owner wanted to placer mine, and since it was cold out, they knocked a hole in a vacant bedroom floor, dug 30 feet to bedrock and proceeded to mine it, somewhat successfully. Which proves if you want it bad enough, you will find a way.
Dunlap & Smith Claim - Eagle Creek
In the next two photographs below, you'll see close-ups of the buildings in this photo.
Placer mining - Eagle Creek
Placer Crew of Dunlap & Smith Placer Crew of
Dunlap & Smith.
(Rufus E. Dunlap & Archie Smith)
L to R: Allen McDougald, Henry Campbell, Antone Bamenza, Andy Anderson, John Fornier, John McDougald, R.E. Dunlap, Fred Johnson, Cooney & 'Bporb'(the dog), Jim McCarty (cook).
Ruf Dunlap, in front of cabin.
Ruf Dunlap in front of cabin
Placer mining - East Eagle Creek Placer mining along the bank.
East Eagle Creek
In places, they were still 20 feet
above bedrock because the water
level couldn't be lowered to work it
with hand tools.
Placer mining - East Eagle Creek
Note the wall made of rock to hold the waste.
Placer mining -East Eagle Creek
Placer mining - East Eagle Creek, Idaho Placer mining - East Eagle Creek.
Notice the sluice box and bank line.
All pick, shovel and wheelbarrow
Murray - 1926
A miner stopped at the store on his way to file a mining claim. The owner and his wife (with several bystanders) were discussing their daughter Edith moving out to her own place, the fancy clothes and late hours, and company she was entertaining. The miner, for his own reasons, named his mine
'The Terrible Edith'.
Miners at Terrible Edith Mine, Murray, Idaho 1926
Just starting the Gillette Placer Claim.
Prichard, Idaho - 1897
Just starting the Gillette Placer Claim. Prichard, Idaho - 1897
A new placer claim. Dream Gulch, Murray _ 1887 A new placer claim.
Dream Gulch, Murray - 1887
The hillsides were too difficult to placer mine in the 1890's. Metal detectors are being used in the 1990's 100 years later, to scan the same hills.
Fancy Gulch Placer Claim.
Fancy Gulch Placer Claim. 1887
Old prospector with Murray's treasure! Some nuggets were big enough that, at least in one instance, an axe was used to cut it in half so it could be divided up.

When the road was rebuilt over the dredge spoils in 1997 - 1998, many nuggets were found. Two smaller ones (2+ ounces) found in 1998, are displayed at the CRYSTAL GOLD MINE. More than likely, the finders used metal detectors. (The sellers won't say.) A 7-ounce nugget was found in 1998 by road crews cleaning out a culvert.
The CRYSTAL GOLD MINE near Kellogg has a unique history. A retired miner fixed it up for a tourist attraction. If mining or history interest you, check his site out. It's open year-around.

Murray Today

Spragpole Museum, Cafe & Bar Walt Almquist's famous Spragpole Museum. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere in the restaurant-bar. You'll like the friendly folks in Murray.
The Bedroom Gold Mine Bar.
You have to see it to believe it!
Bedroom Gold Mine Bar
The Old Gold Shop Browse through the Old Gold Shop for antiques... Try your hand at panning gold.-->

More Mining Sites to Visit:
Kellogg, Idaho
Crystal Gold Mine
For Good Prospecting Supplies and Information:
Mother Lode Gold

Of Special interest to TEACHERS

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©1998, 1999, 2000
Last update: September 14, 2010