Sunday, May 5, 2013

Placerville and Idaho City Mines Thriving. New Finds on the South Boise

On May 5, 1863, The Dalles Journal interviewed a miner named Reuben Reed who had left Placerville about a week earlier. The resulting article, later reprinted in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, said, “Several hundred miners are there, formerly from Northern California and Southern Oregon, all of whom, without a single exception are doing well, and say they have never been in any mining country in their lives that pays as well and promises so well as the Boise country.”

In fact, miners poured into Placerville and the other mining towns, probing deeper into every gulch that looked halfway promising. The Journal said that Reed “thinks the prospects of Bannock City quite as good as Placerville.”
Historic Placerville. Idaho State Historical Society.

The gold fields around Bannock City, to be renamed Idaho City within a year, did indeed prove to be as good or better than around Placerville.

The article went on, “New mines, about 40 miles further up the Boise river had been found, to which several hundred men had gone, and a few who had returned for supplies, reported the prospects extremely good.”

That news referred to discoveries along the South Fork of the Boise River. They would soon lead to the founding of South Boise, soon to be renamed Rocky Bar, about thirty miles east and a bit south of Bannock City.

The account closed with, “The snow has nearly all disappeared, water was plenty and the miners hard at work. Business of all kinds was very brisk, and gold dust plenty.”

References: [B&W]
“Items from the North,” Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (May 19, 1863).

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