Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gilmore Ghost Town, Idaho

My wife, Linda, was away for a few days on a trip with her sisters, so I decided to make a quick run to the Birch Creek kilns and to Gilmore, a ghost town in the mountains of Lemhi County, Idaho.
The first stop was five miles up a dirt road at the beautiful Birch Creek kilns, which once supplied charcoal for the smelter at nearby Nicholia.  There were once 16 of these beehive kilns, and most have disappeared, along with most of Nicholia.  A storm came in fast while I was here, and I left in a thunderstorm with plenty of rain and hail.
When I got to nearby Gilmore the temperature was in the 30's and the wind was howling.  Soon the storm caught up and I had to try to take pictures in really difficult conditions.  The Gilmore Mercantile building looked suitably ghostly through the rain and hail on my windshield.

There are probably about 25 old buildings scattered over the hillside, with a mix of modern trailers.  Some of the old houses have been converted to summer cabins, but most are abandoned and decaying.

The entire front of this house was missing, so I could photograph the peeling wallpaper and crooked door.

The next day promised better weather, so I camped at the city park in Leadore to wait out the storm.  It got very cold during the night, and I woke up to snow on the hills and frost in the park.  I'm sure people were wondering why I was crawling around in the frost with my camera.

Gilmore was a silver and lead mining camp called the Texas Mining District.  At one time 600 people lived there and it was the second richest silver mining area in Idaho, but in 1929 a power plant exploded and the area never recovered.  Until then, the Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad transported ore to Montana for smelting.  The prosperous town had a hotel, stores, banks, restaurants, and a school.

Morning brought a crisp, clear day.  I returned to Gilmore to explore the town in better light.  I don't think there is a straight line or a level building anywhere in the town.

Gilmore is located between Mud Lake and Leadore, Idaho.  It is well worth the trip for ghost town hunters and photographers.

1 comment:

  1. Love looking at your old photos.. here is a facebook page for Gilmore idaho, and you can also share these pictures there if you want!