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Lemhi County GenWeb Project

 
Charcoal Kilns - Lemhi County
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Neighboring Counties

Butte County, Idaho
Clark County, Idaho
Custer County, Idaho
Idaho County, Idaho
Valley County, Idaho
Beaverhead County, Montana
Ravalli County, Montana

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Credits and
Acknowledgements

A big thank you goes out to prior Lemhi County Coordinators, Trinity Boss and Alberta Wiederrick. Special thanks also to the Idaho State Coordinator, Mike St. Clair and Asst. State Coordinator, Mitch Ryder. If I've missed a contributor, please let me know.
Towns, Villages and Populated Places
Baker No information
Blackbird
Blackbird was a forerunner of Cobalt and was located six miles southwest of what's left of the current town site. A number of the more sound buildings left after operations shut down again in 1960 were moved intact to Salmon.

Carmen No information
Cobalt
Cobalt, is located on Panther Creek and was named after the mineral that once was- and may be again- mined there.
Elk Bend No information
Forney Located along Panter Creek, 12.6 km (7.8 mi) NNW of Opal Lake and 13.7 km (8.5 mi) SW of Blackbird Townsite
Fort Limhi Fort Limhi (Lemhi) was founded in 1855 by Mormon missionaries from Salt Lake City, Utah. The name was in honor of an important king in the Book of Mormon. It might be an exaggeration to include this settlement as a Ghost Town, because it only boasted 39 inhabitants at its peak and lasted less than 3 years. On the other hand, it is the namesake of Lemhi County, and the current town of Lemhi, which was granted a post office in 1870.
Gibbonsville Gibbonsville was founded in 1872, and became a town in 1877 after gold was discovered. Named after Army Colonel Gibbon, it was once known as Dahlongi and is commonly referred to as Gibtown. It is located approximately 15 miles south of Lost Trail Pass on U.S. Highway 93 on the North Fork of the Salmon River. There are currently about 100 people living there, so it may be premature to call it a Ghost Town.
George Kerns, a German immigrant, was one of the early owners of what is now known as the Broken Arrow. He decided that Gibbonsville was in need of a local brewery and applied for water rights on July 6, 1897, in order to begin his operation.
Kerns Brewery, at its peak, supplied 13 Gibbonsville and surrounding area taverns. Thirsty patrons came from all over Lemhi County and Montana to enjoy the brew. Broken Arrow has had a variety of businesses as well as many name changes over the years. Kerns Brewery became a Texaco gas station in 1926. A store and cafe and cabins were built in 1926 and the RV park was added in the '50's.

Gilmore Gilmore was named for John T. Gilmer who was a partner in the Gilmer and Salisbury Stage Company. Its name was misspelled by the Post Office in Washington, in 1903, when they established a post office there. Gilmore is now a ghost mining town located 17 miles southeast of Leadore. Silver and lead were discovered in the area in 1879 and the mining district was organized in 1880. Ore was originally shipped from the area by wagon. Between 1902 and 1980 Gilmore shipped 6,700 tons of lead bullion and 325,000 ounces of silver. The Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad was constructed in 1910 to export large quantities of these medals. The first year's rail shipment equaled the combined total of all previous years. The activities of the Gilmore mines were the incentive for the building of a railroad to Salmon with a spur to Gilmore for hauling ore to the Oregon Shoreline for shipment to the smelter. The 1929 financial crash caused the Gilmore mines to cease operation. The Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad became less useful and stopped its run in 1939. The track was torn up and the scrap metal sold to an agent of the Japanese government about a year before Pearl Harbor. The town of Gilmore once had seven saloons, three stores, two hotels, two dance halls, two trucking companies, a two-room school and a bank. The population was about 500 people. A power plant explosion combined with the Depression finally brought activities to an end in 1929.
Grantsville Grantsville was first known as Tenderfoot, but when the town was finally established in 1866, Northern sympathizers from the Civil War insisted on calling the town Grantsville.
Hahn Hahn is another deserted mining town that is nearly lost to history. It was named for a man from Missouri who built a smelter there in 1907. Located seven miles southeast of Gilmore, it apparently was an unofficial postal relay station for the miners on Spring Mountain. Boosting a peak population of 100, the settlement gained official status as a town with the establishment of a post office in 1909. Two years later the post office was permantly closed.

Junction See Leadore
Kingville Kingville , another settlement that has given up the ghost, hosted many of the men who worked at the kilns which supplied the smelter at Nicholia with charcoal.
Lava Lava was established shortly after discovery of Viola Mine near Nicholia. It no longer exists.
Leadore Leadore, Idaho is located near the 7,572 foot Gilmore Summit. The area of a few hundred souls, while somewhat isolated, retains a rich history intertwined with ranching, mining and a railroad. The estimated population, in 2003, was 88. Junction, which was first settled in 1871, can be considered the predecessor of Leadore. Its first settlers were "Grandpa" Stevenson, and his wife Minerva, who migrated west in order to escape the turmoil of the Civil War in Missouri. From the publication Early History of the Upper Lemhi Valley, by Clara Prouix, we learn some details about these early pioneers and their town. It was Stevenson who constructed the one of the few remaining buildings in Junction and called it the "high house". He served as the first postmaster of the town, under President Ulysses S. Grant, and established a blacksmith shop, livery barn and lastly, the Junction Hotel. When Stevenson's wife Minerva died, he decided to stay on in the area, and sent for his widowed sister, Susan Clark, who was the mother of seven children. Other settlers came, built log homes on the wide open spaces and engaged in cattle ranching. In 1910, the railroad was constructed to haul out the rich ore which was plentiful at that time. However, one holdout over railroad right-of-way caused the town of Junction to be bypassed by a distance of two miles. The town of Junction faded into ghost town status, while Leadore flourished, even boasting of its own newspaper at one time. Because the town of Leadore was established near the railroad, it increased in size and serves today as the main community in the area, despite the fact that the railroad was abandoned over 50 years ago. One can still see the old railroad bed, which was pulled up in 1940, if you head south from Leadore to the mining community of Gilmore on Gilmore Summit. Many of the descendants of the early settlers still live in the county today.

Leadville Leadville was named for a lead mine that supported it, and located just east of Leadore. All that is left of the town are several mine adits and a couple of cabins.
Leesburg Leesburg is a sister town of Grantsville and situated less than a mile away on the same main road. It was inhabited mostly by men from the southern states, hence the name.
May No information available
Nicholia Nicholia was named for Ralph Nichols, managing engineer of the Viola Mining Company. Located at the mouth of Smelter Gulch about 15 miles northeast of Lone Pine, this town boasted a post office from 1884 to 1916. Its heydey was from 1882 through 1894, when the mine produced 25 % of all the lead in the United States.
Patterson No information available
Reno Reno was a small community located southwest of Gilmore and was first settled in 1885. The origin of the name is the Reno family, but there is some discussion as to just whom the distinction should belong. Some credit Frank Reno, an early rancher is the area, while others believe the first postmistress, Agnes B. Reno is the more likely candidate.
Salmon

Salmon City, commonly just called Salmon, was laid out in 1867, and is the county seat of Lemhi County. The first house in Salmon was the Van Dreff house on the corner east of the Historical Museum. A log schoolhouse was built in 1867 where the Havemann's warehouse now stands. The first school teacher was Fanny Price.
The entire block from the museum to the river was once Chinatown, occupied by Chinese miners from Leesburg, who wintered in Salmon. A Chinese store stood where the Museum is now located. On the corner a Chinese laundry was busy summer and winter. The first brick building was the livery barn of George Wentz and Jacob Finstur. The barn was owned in later years by Thomas Kane and William Mulkey; George Kingsbury and is now occupied by the Rivers' Edge Complex. Frank Pollard owned the brick kiln that furnished brick for the first church, the Shoup building, the McNutt block, the Lincoln school, and several dwellings. The Shoup building was finished in 1884-1885. The first floor was for general mercantile business. The second floor were offices and a large hall for an auditorium. The third floor was the Masonic Hall. The Odd Fellow's Hall of the 1870's is now occupied by the Kay's Hallmark store. The Odd Fellows used the second floor. The first floor was used as a school until the frame schoolhouse was built. At that point, the first floor became the offices of the county auditor and recorder and the probate judge. The first post office was in Peter Amonson's shoe shop. M.M. McPherson was the postmaster. Frank Pollard and William O'Connell built the old Episcopal Church in 1903, from stone quarried in the old Shoup quarry west of Salmon. The 2 stone masons went on to build the Catholic Church from the same stone in 1908.

Shoup Shoup , found about 40 miles down river from Salmon, was once a prosperous mining town with a population of over 600. While the town has long since tumbled down, the post office which was established in 1883, still exists today and serves residents who live up and down the Corn Creek Road. The community was named for George L. Shoup, territorial governor
Smithville Smithville, about three miles from Leesburg, was founded in 1866 by William Smith, one of the original discoverers of gold in the Leesburg basin. The town died in 1870, the same year Smith was killed by Jim Hayden in a gunfight in Salmon City.

Summit City Summit City came into being in 1867 when James Glendenning mapped it out. Located about six miles east of Leesburg, the town probably never had more than 400 citizens. Named for its elevation, records of its demise are sketchy at best.

Tenderfoot See Grantsville.
Tendoy No information available
Ulysses Ghost town. No information available.
Williams Lake Resort No information available
Yellowjacket Yellowjacket, which still has a few buildings, may have been one of the most overrated gold mines in Idaho. A number of rumors persist, but one of the most stated is that the Yellowjacket discovery had been 'salted.'

   
 
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