French Canadian trappers who worked that area in 1852 had supposedly seen signs of gold in that area. However, no one paid much attention, probably because the men lacked mining experience.
|Lake Pend Oreille. Kootenai County.|
The Age went on, “Recently, certain parties have been prospecting through that part of the Territory, and have fully satisfied themselves of their existence and richness.”
Eventually, explorers would find placer gold at points all the way into Canada. In the short term, the news drew newcomers into the general area on the Coeur d’Alene and Pend Oreille rivers, along with the Kootenai and its tributaries. Soon, packers established a regular route that ran north, passing near today’s Rathdrum and west of Lake Pend Oreille.
References: [Illust North]
Article reprinted as “Discovery of New Gold Mines In The North,” Illustrated New Age, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (August 15, 1863).