Idaho History Nov 4, 2018

Dixie, Idaho County, Idaho

Dixie, Idaho County, Idaho

Dixie is an unincorporated community in Idaho County, Idaho, United States, located 43 miles (69 km) east-northeast of Riggins. Dixie was an important gateway to the Thunder Mountain Mines of Idaho during the early 1900’s when Dixie was on the northern terminus of the Three Blaze Trail, a shortcut route to the mines via Campbell’s Ferry, and what is now the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, Chamberlain Basin, and southward to the mining community of Roosevelt, located on Monumental Creek.

source: Wikipedia
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Dixie Topo Map

source: Topo Zone (full screen zoomable map)
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Dixie (Gold)

Although a rush to Dixie came during the same week as the rush to Florence in August, 1861, work for practical purposes apparently did not begin around Dixie for more than twenty years. At least there is no record of any community there in the early days, and claims recorded in 1884 in what appears to have been the new camp of Dixie mark the beginning of serious activity. Quartz prospects there came into prominence after the panic of 1893, and by 1896, Dixie had attained some importance. Production records for the nineteenth century are lacking but more than $100,000 was recovered in the twentieth–mostly from a drag line placer operation during the depression. Total yield of $270,000 placer and $50,000 quartz are recorded, but are probably incomplete. The total, though, very likely did not exceed $1,500,000.

excerpted from: Mining in Idaho Number 9 1985, by Ernest Oberbillig and the Idaho State Historical Society
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Dixie (1898)

The Dixie district is another new camp opened up in the last year. It lies south from Elk City, and is on the head waters of the south fork of the Clearwater.

The ores are of high value, and ledges carrying every character of ore are found,—lead, iron, copper, zinc, antimony, gold and silver. The great Buffalo Hump district lies in the center of a triangle, with Florence, Elk City and Dixie at the three corners of the angle.
(pg 430)

excerpted from: “An Illustrated History of Idaho” 1899 (58 meg)
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1898

Idaho County Free Press., December 30, 1898

Perils of the Mountains

James Lynch Frozen to Death In Dixie District

Dixie, Idaho, Dec. 20, 1898

This community was greatly shocked last Saturday evening when it was reported that the body of James Lynch was found about seven miles southeast of Dixie, he having been frozen to death the night of the 13th.

It happened in this wise: He and T. S. Rackliff had moved down below the Comstonck mill on Rhett Creek, to do some work on a claim belonging to Dr. Bibby, of Grangeville; after being there for about 10 days, Mr. Lynch last Tuesday took the gun and told Rackliff he would go over the breaks of Salmon river and kill a deer, and that he may be gone three days, as if he did not get one handy to camp he would go down the river and get “Campbell the hunter to kill one for him.”

So on his non-arrival Wednesday Mr. Rackliff thought he had gone to Salmon, so he came to town after his mail and it being cold he did not get back to camp until Friday night. Mr. Lynch not having returned then Rackliff started Saturday morning to the river to see if anything had happened, never thinking but that Lynch had done as he said he would follow Campbell’s trail, a trail that he ought to be very familiar with as he had worked on the river last winter at that point, and in fact had been down the trail three weeks before. Rackliff not knowing the way concluded to follow Lynch’s tracks.

Lynch had followed Campbell’s trail for about one-half mile when, for some reason, he turned off to the left and took up over a very steep mountain to the divide that runs parallel with Salmon about 3 miles; he followed this divide up and over into the head of a creek that runs down to Salmon just above the place that he said he was going to; when he crossed the creek he turned to the North directly from Salmon, and came back onto the head of Rabbit Creek, which he had crossed directly after leaving camp. By this time he evidently became bewildered as he began to wander around first one way, then the other, but kept going downhill; the country is a mass of fallen dead timber and green underbrush.

When Rackliff found that he had turned down this way he feared the worst. Finally Lynch left the level country and took down the canyon, coming within 1/4 of a mile of where Rackliff was then at work, when he turned from camp again toward Salmon, but still in the gulch bottom in the brush, when it became dark, from the way he seemed to tumble about, and must have also been pretty cold, as it was 8 below zero that night; at any rate, he sat down on the end of a log and evidently sat there for some time, but made no effort to build a fire, which he could have done, as he had plenty of matches and a big hunting knife and plenty of dry wood about.

While sitting down he probably chilled and evidently realizing that that would not do he began to go down the gulch again; he went over a big bunch of mountain alder, which must have been quite a task in the dark, and when through that he immediately ran into a small white fir tree, and there he stopped. He jammed his gun down into the snow to the ground, threw his hat to one side about six feet, and either lay down or had fallen down backward, and straightened out with both feet together, arms to the side and hands-on body, and there he was found in that condition. He evidently realized the end and had prepared for it; he had only gone about 100 feet from where he sat down on the log.

Rackliff found the body about 3 o’clock p.m. Saturday, and he must have perished sometime Tuesday night. Ten of Comstock’s crew went out Sunday and brought the body on a toboggan to the mill; from there the Comstock team brought him to town where a coffin and grave had been prepared.

Thus there has been a funeral in Dixie, the first in the history of the district.

Deceased was about 63 years of age. He had a ranch on Craig’s Mountain in Nez Perce County, near Westlake, and owned a 1-2 interest with Crist Mally in several claims in this camp.

He has two brothers in Philadelphia, and a brother, Frank Lynch, and family, residing now at 113 Lexington Ave., Jersey City.

transcribed by Kerry

James Lynch


(click image for source size)
Birth: 1835
Death: 13 Dec 1898 (aged 62–63) Dixie, Idaho County, Idaho
Burial: Dixie Cemetery Idaho County, Idaho

source: Find a Grave
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1902

1902DixieManBears-a

This is an old photo taken by William Allen Stonebraker about 1902, probably in Dixie. He was an avid photographer whose large body of work is archived in the University of Idaho Library’s Special Collections and Archives. Most were taken around the turn of the 19th Century in the Thunder Mountain, Salmon River, Dixie, Stites, and Koosia areas. He was notoriously lax in labeling his work, but what he lacked in information he made up for in quantity. His collection is avalable to view on line.

This collection consists of 540 photographs from the William Allen Stonebraker Collection, which was donated to the University of Idaho Library in 2003. Stonebraker took photographs in Central Idaho’s remote Salmon River and Frank Church-River of No Return areas at the turn of the twentieth century between 1900 and 1931. The collection contains images of the Stonebraker Ranch and homestead in the Chamberlain Basin, his businesses (dude ranch, pack train and dogsled operations, mining, big game hunting) as well as wildlife, scenic views, and early aircraft operation.

Link: Stonebraker Photograph Collection University of Idaho

[h/t SMc]
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Old hotel in Dixie [1906]

source: Shannon Dolph Perry Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
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Dixie Hotel 1906


(click image for source size)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie, Idaho


Comstock Mine

Dixie was an early Mining camp founded around 1862 by prospectors that had flooded the area during the Florence gold rush. Another town founded in the area about the same time was Elk City.

It is estimated that by 1924 $1,500,000 in gold had been taken out of the mines. In the 1930’s Crooked Creek was dredged, of which the remains can be seen today.

In it’s Heyday, it is said that there were 5,000 people living in the Dixie area.

Head south east out of Grangeville, down the Mt. Idaho grade, and follow the south fork of the Clearwater River for about an hour or so. When you get to the fork in the road that leads to Elk City keep right, and in another hour, or so, you’ll find yourself in Dixe.

source and photo gallery: Bob Hartman Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
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1909 Dixie Idaho


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Arrastra Wheel – probably Elk City/Dixie Area 1910


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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1910

Idaho Daily Statesman – Boise, Idaho – January 17, 1910

Prospector Shot to Death

W.P. Boyle Victim of “Snowshoe” Brown

(Special Dispatch) Grangeville, Jan 16 [1910]

Word received this afternoon from Elk City, Idaho, is that W.P. Boyle, a well-known miner and prospector, was shot and instantly killed this morning by “Snowshoe” Brown in a gambling game in a saloon in Dixie, a small mining camp 80 miles southeast of here. Only meager particulars are obtainable.

Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie Idaho 1910


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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1911

Idaho County Free Press December 7, 1911

S. M. Pruitt Confesses to Killing of E.C. Rucker

Had to Do It to Save Own Life

Tragedy Occurred Nov. 5th in Remote Mountain District. On last Saturday morning, Samuel M. Pruitt, a raw-boned mountain man, walked into Sheriff Overman’s office and stated to the sheriff he wished to surrender himself to the authorities for the killing of his partner, E.C. Rucker on the morning of November 5th, in a remote section of the mountains, forty-five miles from the mining camp of Dixie. He stated to the officers that following a row between the two men he had been attacked by Rucker and was compelled to kill him to save his life. According to the story of Pruitt he and E.C. Rucker had been in the mountains since last May, prospecting and mining with more or less success and this winter the pair established their headquarters on the Salmon river, in the wild section of the country, the nearest human being being at the Eakin placer mine, located eighteen miles down the river. The two men had prepared for a winter’s trapping and everything was agreeable until early in November when trouble arose between the two. According to the story told by the man who surrendered Saturday, on the morning of November fifth he was awakened by Rucker who arose and stated he was going to secure the ax at the wood pile to the rear of the cabin and wreck vengeance on his partner. Pruitt, realizing the state of mind of the man, jumped from his bunk and grabbing his Winchester, fled from the cabin, hotly pursued by Rucker, wielding the ax in the air, and shouting to the fleeing man that he intended killing him. Pruitt tried to make his escape but was so hotly pursued by the raving trapper that he turned and fired in self-defense, the bullet entering the body from the left side, under his arm, and death resulting. Growing frantic over his deed, Pruitt secured the body and tying a sack of rocks to the same, cast it into an eddy of the Salmon river. Worrying over his act he decided to seek civilization and inform others of the tragedy. He took a boat and rowed down the river to the Eakin property where he recited his story to the men of the camp and was accompanied back by a tourist by the name of Weider of Payette and one Fenny, a miner. The river was dragged for several miles from the point where the body was supposed to have been thrown in but without avail and the party returned with Pruitt in charge, who was accompanied out by the two men as far as Goff and left with the instructions to continue on his way to Grangeville and surrender to the officers which he did arriving here Friday night. Pruitt, who is a man of forty-five years of age and was born in Oregon, states he has no living relatives and has followed the occupation of ranch hand most of his life. Previous to coming to Idaho county this year he worked for several ranchers over at Lewiston, Montana, who have been communicated with by the prosecuting attorney but up to the present time no reply has been received. He is a tall, dark complected fellow and has an intelligent face. He has never had a day’s schooling but seems to have picked up a very fair education. He feels mighty bad over the tragedy and when talking of the same breaks down. His story told to the prosecuting attorney seems perfectly feasible and the straightforward manner in which he talks convinces one of his honesty. A search will be made by the officers for the remains of Rucker and if found and the location of the wound as well as the description given by Pruitt of the manner in which the body was clad and other statements made by him can be substantiated he will be released. In the meantime he is being held in the county jail waiting the outcome of the investigation by the officers.
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Idaho County Free Press, December 21, 1911

He Had to Shoot

Evidence Seems to Justify the Killing of Rucker

Rucker Had Bad Disposition

Those Who Knew Him So State

Other Evidence From information received by Sheriff Overman during the past week it seems evident that the story told by Samuel Pruitt regarding the killing of E.C. Rucker by him several weeks ago near the Salmon river is true and that Rucker was an eccentric man and subject to melancholy spells if not a bad man. “Billy” Robinson of Dixie has been sent in by the authorities with an equipment with which to drag the river and in all probabilities will secure the body of Rucker. Sheriff Overman received a letter from H.W. Weider of Payette, who was hunting in that section at the time of the tragedy and who went with Pruitt to the scenes and assisted in dragging the waters for the remains. Weider states that if he is any judge of human nature Pruitt told him a straight story relating to the tragedy and then relates the story in detail which corresponds with that told by Pruitt to the officers upon his arrive in Grangeville. A communication was also received from a former employer of the deceased who states he was a barber and subject to moody spells and a man who was most peculiar in some respects. It seems he barbered for a while in Spokane and later joined a geological survey party over at Salmon City and later went to trapping with Pruitt. A letter from a hotel man at that place states there is no surprise over there regarding the news as it was expected that on account of his disposition he would meet with a violet death sooner or later. His father, a man of some seventy years of age and a citizen of Ohio, has also written the sheriff and regarding the affair. Judging from the evidence in hand Pruitt had to shoot to save his life and no doubt with the return of Robinson he will be released from custody.
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Idaho County Free Press, Thursday, January 4, 1912

Released Pruitt

Edward Eakin, the gentleman at whose home Samuel Pruitt made his way and surrendered after the killing of one Rucker early in November, was in the city Saturday last and made a statement of the case to Prosecutor Griffith which matched up with the story told by Pruitt to the officers at the time of his arrival in Grangeville. The facts as related by Mr. Eakin coincided with Pruitt’s story and were convincing enough that the prosecutor ordered the release of Pruitt, who left Monday for Payette, Idaho, where he has secured employment with a hunter who was present at Eakin’s at the time Pruitt made his way down the river and related the events leading up to the killing of Rucker. Pruitt, who undoubtedly was justified in taking the life of his partner, and who seemed to feel quite badly over the tragedy has offered to keep in touch with Sheriff Overman and Prosecutor Griffith. The story told by Eakin of the conversation he had with Pruitt at the time he made his way down the river and told of the tragedy is practically the same as the one given in the columns of the paper some time ago. The only additional light thrown on the affair is that the tragedy occurred just after the river from Lemhi county, the Salmon river forming the boundary and that Rucker was a man with a mighty bad temper. After relating the story Pruitt suggested that he be taken to Salmon City over in Lemhi county where he had friends, but as it was evident that the crime was committed in Idaho county, he followed the advice of Eakin and the others in camp at that time to come to Grangeville and surrender to the Idaho county authorities. “Billy” Robins, who was sent from Dixie to drag the river for the body, and who was assisted by Eakin was unable to find the same but as the river is filled with boulders and the water is deep, that need not be a matter of surprise.
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Idaho County Free Press, May 14, 1912

Was Rucker’s Body

Body of Salmon River Trapper Found by Hunters

Was Killed by Partner

Man Who Did Killing Gave Himself Up

Was Self Defense

The remains of E.C. Rucker, who was killed by his partner last winter and whose body was placed in the Salmon river, have been recovered and given burial. About two weeks as a party of bear hunters, composed of Rich Danforth, Jim Loungee, and Matt Haynie were going up the river, pulling a boat, they discovered the remains of a man, with a rope tied around his waist. A hasty examination was made and it was discovered that the man had been shot through the left arm, the bullet entering his left side and lodging in the body. The remains were in a good state of preservation with the exception of the face. It was at once recalled that last winter Samuel M. Pruitt went to Grangeville and gave himself up to the authorities, and told of shooting his partner, and placing his body in the river. Pruitt claimed to have tied a rope to the body and anchored it to a rock. He also told that he shot Rucker through the left arm and body. At that time, while Pruitt was still held in jail, the sheriff sent a party to make an investigation and see if the body could be recovered. The party that went to the scene of the trouble could find no tract of the body, and there was no sigh of any conflict, and on this report Pruitt was turned loose and his story of self defense was considered true. The place where the body was found is about fifty miles down the river from where it was put in and it is supposed that the rock to which the body was tied was not large enough to hold, and that it has been moving down the river, and at last lodged in some boulders where it was found. —Mining News. ALHN Idaho, Idaho County Index.
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Killing on the Salmon River

Letter contributed by: Michael Pearcy regarding the death of his grandmother’s brother. Mr. Pearcy has copied a letter from the Sheriff of Idaho County, Idaho to his grandmother, Henrietta Rucker, relating the circumstances of her brother’s death at the hands of his mining partner.

Ed Rucker, left Scot Town, Lawrence County, to seek his fortune mining in the west. This letter has also been published on the Lawrence Register (Lawrence County, Ohio’s Genealogical and Historical Website)

Office of Sheriff of Idaho County, Idaho
Grangeville, Idaho, June 10th, 1912
Miss Henrietta Rucker
Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., Huntington, W. Va.

Dear Miss Rucker:

Your letter of May 25th, last, reached this office in due time and has not been answered before on account of the writers absence from the City until now. I Hardly know how to begin to tell you of this sad affair, but will in my own way, give you what information I have at my command. The body of your Brother was found about May 1st, by three men, R. S. Danforth, E. S. Lougee, and J. M. Haynie, all of Dixie, Idaho, being in the water on the East side of the Salmon River about a mile below what is know as the Sam Myers Ranch. This place is about 18 miles from Dixie, Idaho, and about 75 miles down the river from where it was put in. This part of Idaho County is a very rough and mountainous country and very inaccessible at any time of the year, and almost impossible to get into during the winter months. The body was buried near where it was taken from the water by C. H. Prescott and T. H. Thomas, also of Dixie, Idaho. I am informed that the body when taken from the water was fairly well preserved, but when taken out of the water decomposition soon set in, and it was impossible to keep the body but a few hours or perhaps a day at the most. At the time the body was found it would have been almost impossible to get it out to the railroad and even now I doubt if it would be practical to bring out the casket as it would have to be carried on pack horse for some 18 miles to Dixie and then 25 miles to Elk City, and then by stage some 65 miles to the nearest railroad point. Sam Pruitt, the man who took your Brothers life, came down the Salmon River in a boat to Riggins, Idaho, and from there to this place to tell his story of the awful affair, and surrendered himself to us long before the story of the killing could have reached us had he not taken that method of coming out. Pruitt was immediately confined in the County Jail, and I immediately sent three men into where the killing had occurred to make an investigation, and if possible to locate the body, and spent several hundred dollars in investigating the matter. We held Pruitt here in Jail for over a month, and finally, in the absence of sufficient evidence to bind him over to the District Court, and upon the direction of the Prosecuting Attorney released him. Pruitt has kept this office posted as to his whereabouts ever since and I could locate him by wire in a few hours at this time. The Prosecuting Attorney and this office have carefully considered every word and act of Pruitt and have found everything, even to the gunshot wound in the body and the rope with which he tied the rock to the body with which it was sunk into the water, substantially as he stated. So far we have not a single thing in the way of evidence that would justify any Court or Judge in binding him to the Trial Court.

The worst feature in the statement of Pruitt, and this is the one on which the Prosecutor and I worked, was the fact that after the killing Pruitt sank the body into the river. This statement naturally would lead one to think that there had been foul play, and both the Prosecutor and I acted on this presumption until we had made an exhaustive investigation. In writing this letter I have not gone into detail for it would take hours to write you everything concerning the case, and even then you would never believe anything but that your brother had been foully murdered, but I have attempted to tell you what had been done in a general way. You have unjustly criticized me when you say that I have been “trying to shield the slayer rather than justify the slain” and when you know more of the case you will regret having written them. On the contrary we did everything within our power, regardless of expense, to secure the facts and so far have failed to find sufficient evidence to hold Pruitt for trail. There is no need of my going into the question of your brother’s sanity for I realize as well as anyone that it is next to impossible to convince anyone as near and dear as a Brother or Sister that such would be possible. I do not know, and perhaps no living person knows positively. However I have letters to this effect, and while I do not know who your Spokane, Wn. Informant is, have little doubt but that it was from one who wrote me in substance that Mr. Rucker was of a morbid disposition. In conclusion Miss Rucker will say that I have done all that I could see possible in regard to this sad affair, and feel that the Prosecuting Attorney would not have authorized his release had there been any possible chance of holding him to the District Court. I will be glad to give you any further information concerning your Brother if you make it possible for me to do so.

Very respectfully,
J. I. Overman
Sheriff

Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Winter Pack String Dixie, Idaho


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Pack Horse String Dixie Idaho

source: Mike Fritz Collection, courtesy Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History

Elk Hunting Party Leaving Dixie Idaho

source: Mike Fritz Collection, courtesy Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History
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1923

A Salmon River miner. Died when he fell off of his horse.

Sam Myers was a southerner, born in 1837. He fought in the Civil War, with General Sherman in Georgia, and received a government pension.

Myers did some placering at Myers Creek and kept a number of handsome horses. He lived on Myers Creek, on the Salmon River for 40 years.

Coming down from Dixie on the Churchill Trail with a load of winter supplies in 1923, he was thrown into a tree by a halter-pulling mare, and it cost him his life.

The spot is now known as the Allison Ranch. Myers cabin, located by the barn, was torn down. Elmer Allison got the place from Myers’ heirs by paying off a thousand-dollar mortgage held by Ed Harbison, Vic Bargamin’s trapping partner. Sam Myers must have accumulated some gambling debts in Dixie to have owed Harbison that much money.

River Of No Return
Johnny Carrey & Cort Conley
Pages 139-140

Samuel Myers


(click image for source size)

Birth: 5 Dec 1831 Myerstown, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Death: 19 Oct 1921 (aged 89) Idaho County, Idaho
Burial: Dixie Cemetery Idaho County, Idaho

source: Find a Grave
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Dixie Cemetery

Added by: Larry Linehan on 18 Aug 2008

source: Find a Grave
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Arastra Headstones near Dixie Idaho

source: Mike Fritz Collection, courtesy Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History
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Dixie in the winter


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie Idaho ca. 1957


(go to source for larger image)

source: Mike Fritz Collection, courtesy Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History
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Dixie Idaho – 1960’s


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie Schoolhouse


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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1990

Mineral Resources of the Gospel-Hump Wilderness, Idaho County, Idaho


(click image for larger size)
USGS

Some of the historically most important gold producing mining districts in Idaho are near the Gospel Hump Wilderness (fig. 1; Savage, 1970). Parts of the Buffalo Hump mining district lie in the eastern half of the wilderness area. The zone that contains most of the major mines in this district has been excluded from, but is virtually surrounded by, wilderness. The southern part of the Tenmile district is included in the northeastern part of the wilderness. The large gold placer and lode deposits of the Florence district border the area on the west, and a small part of the district is included in the southwestern corner of the wilderness. A few lode mines of the Orogrande district are included on the northeastern side. Lode and placer deposits of the Dixie district abut the eastern side.
(pg 4)

Mining and Exploration History

The Gospel-Hump Wilderness is surrounded by nine mining districts (fig. 1). The wilderness area includes parts of the Tenmile, Orogrande, Buffalo Hump, and Florence districts; the Dixie district is adjacent to the eastern side of the wilderness. The initial discoveries of placer gold in districts near the area were made in 1861 (Thompson and Ballard, 1924). Lode gold and silver deposits near Elk City were first discovered in 1870, but those in the wilderness (the Buffalo Hump district and at the War Eagle mine) were not discovered until 1898 (Shenon and Reed, 1934). Mining activity throughout the region subsided by about 1910 and has been intermittent since then.

Most of the gold production from the region was from placer deposits. However, in the districts included in the wilderness, production was mainly from lodes. Although production records are incomplete and estimates vary (see table 1), Thompson and Ballard (1924) estimated that more than 3 million troy ounces (oz) of gold were produced from placers and lodes in the Elk City, Newsome, Tenmile, Orogrande, Buffalo Hump, Dixie, Florence, and Burgdorf districts. Gold production of about 34,000 troy oz is reported for the Buffalo Hump district (table 1). Combined precious- and base-metals production estimates are summarized in table 1.

Precious metals exploration in mining districts near the wilderness has increased dramatically in recent years. Major recent developments include exploration drilling, pilot heap-leach studies, initiation of mining permit applications, and commencement of mining at several properties near or adjacent to the wilderness. The interest has focused on large, low-grade, heap leachable gold deposits. Information about specific operations was provided by W.L. Rice (1987, oral commun.) and Rice and others (1987).

In 1986, Coeur d’ Alene Mines Corp. began open pit mining and heap-leaching at its Thunder Mountain gold-silver property, about 20 mi southeast of the Gospel-Hump Wilderness. The mining company estimates ore reserves of 1, 788 million tons, averaging 0.095 troy oz of gold and 0.077 troy oz of silver per ton.

Late in 1986, Nevex Gold Company, Inc., began the permitting process for a heap-leaching facility at its Robinson Dike gold property, south of Dixie. The company reports reserves of 450,000 tons ore, grading 0.06 troy oz of gold per ton (Bill Porter, 1987, personal commun.). In the Elk City area, exploration drilling and heap-leach tests were begun at the Friday Gold property by Normine Resources Ltd. The company reports reserves of 3 to 4 million tons, grading 0.035 to 0.04 troy oz gold per ton.
(pg 7)

excerpted from: Mineral Resources of the Gospel-Hump Wilderness, Idaho County, Idaho
U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin # 1812 1990
By Karen Lund, U.S. Geological Survey and Leon E. Esparza, U.S. Bureau of Mines
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Dixie Dredge


(click image for source photo)

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Dixie

Elevation: 5,620 Feet
Date Settled: 1862

Dixie History

Not much is known about the history of Dixie. The town was one of the earliest mining camps in Idaho, founded in 1862. A Forest Service sign in town relates a short history of the town:

Dixie was founded on August 24, 1862, by two miners who trekked over the divide from Elk City and discovered gold in Dixie Gulch. Supposedly, Dixie was named in honor of Dixie, Georgia, one of the first miner’s hometowns.

In 1900, Dixie was a boomtown. During World War One, Dixie was almost deserted as residents joined the service. By the Depression, people were moving back to eke out a living by mining a little gold. Increases in gold prices from 1932 to 1937 prompted the restaking of many properties and prospecting for new lodes.

The 1900 boom was related to the discovery of gold at Thunder Mountain. Dixie was a deep-wilderness outpost that was well-situated as a supply center for the Thunder Mountain rush.

Today Dixie is an extremely remote town that is still active with retirees, vacation cabins, and an active lodge catering to hunters and backcountry explorers. The town sits on the Gold Rush Loop Tour, along with Elk City and other local mining camps.

Dixie 2018

source: Western Mining History
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page updated Aug 21, 2020