Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Burke, Idaho Ghost Town

A few years ago, Linda and I visited the old mining ghost town of Burke, Idaho.  It is located in a canyon so narrow that every inch was used for something.  Hillsides were shored up with logs to create platforms where homes could be built.
This old postcard shows a street so narrow that cars had to stop and wait whenever a train went by.  The Tiger Hotel spanned the canyon so that a street, the creek, and two railroad tracks went through the lobby.
Most of the homes and stores disappeared when the mines closed, but there are still massive buildings standing from the mines.  In fact, they are easily the biggest buildings I have seen in a ghost town.
One of the stops on my annual camping trip in July was a return visit to Burke, but this time with my camping buddies, Bruce Gregory and Stephen Johnson.  This photo shows the huge ore bins at the bottom of the hill below the mine and mill.  There are tunnels through these huge concrete structures where trains used to run for loading.  As you can see, the complex is fenced, so we thought all we could do was photograph it from the road.
But, we got lucky and met a part time resident of the area who used to work in the mine, and who offered to take us on a tour.  We were able to go inside the giant Hecla mining compound and photograph these huge abandoned buildings.  This one is the hoist house for the mine.  There is much more information about Burke, and many more photos, on my web site here:  http://www.hisandhersphoto.com/ghost/hhburke.htm.