The Texas Mining District
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 27.462 W 113° 16.190
12T E 319422 N 4925216
Quick Description: History sign at ghost town of Gilmore.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 8/4/2012 6:14:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMF110
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Team GeoDuo
Views: 1

Long Description:
This sign is about the Texas Mining District and is one of a group of six signs in the ghost town of Gilmore, about 16 miles south of Leadore, Idaho. There are three history signs plus three photo panels, one for each history sign.
Marker Name: The Texas Mining District

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker Text:
The wealth of the Texas Mining District (Gilmore) was discovered in the 1870s and mined extensively from 1902 through the 1920s. Its mineral deposits promised prosperity to Lemhi County and ushered in an era of modernity - bringing the Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad and connection to the wider world. A doctor’s prescription and an increased demand for lead-silver at the turn of the century changed the fate of the Texas Mining District. Moving west for his health in 1902, Edgar C. Ross, a Pennsylvania businessman, purchased claims in Horseshoe Gulch, launching his western career and a thirty-year mining operation in the Upper Lemhi. For his health, Ross found himself involved in a mining venture that required shipping ore 85 miles by horse-drawn wagon to the nearest railroad depot at Dubois, Idaho. Defying the odds, he shipped 325,000 ounces of silver and over 6,500 tons of lead bullion between 1902 and 1908. However, either a better method of transport or a closer smelter was desperately needed. A steam traction engine wore out after being used for twelve trips in 1906, and the small smelter erected at Hahn could not accommodate the increasing output of the Texas Mining District Frustrated with limited shipping capabilities and increasing costs, some mines shut down temporarily, including the area’s largest producer, the Pittsburgh-Idaho Mine. A train would solve the problem, but no one came forward to bankroll the proposition. Finally, in 1909 Ralph Nichols, director of mine operations at the Viola Mine above Nicholis (1881-1887), succeeded in appealing to railroad investors with the wealth of his claim, the Latest Out. Nichols assured investors that he would be shipping thirty tones a day by 1910. The Gilmore and Pittsburgh train arrived in April of 1910. Improved transportation spurred the opening of additional mines, the work force grew, and the Texas Mining District became the second largest lead-silver producer in Idaho after the Coeur d’Alene Mining District. Several factors ushered in a period of uncertainty, however, and eventually led to the decline of the mining region. Entry of the United States into World War I caused a labor shortage, and the end of the war in 1919 led to a drop in ore prices. During the 1920s, a series of natural and man-made disasters exacerbated the sense of doom. The inability of the available technology to combat a rising level of water in the shafts and a fire that destroyed the main power plant for the mines signaled defeat. By 1929 most of the miners had left Gilmore for other work, many of them moving to the mines at Butte and Anaconda. Although Ross’ Gilmore Mercantile Company attempted to continue mining, the Great Depression put an end to its efforts. The company tried to maintain the few remaining families by providing food and free housing but finally went into receivership in 1931. Although full-scale mining at the Texas Mining District ceased, the mines had produced $11,520,852.00 in ore over the 27 years of major operations.

County: Lemhi

City: Gilmore

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Group Responsible for Placement: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark. If possible please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Idaho history please include that in your log.

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Volcanoguy visited The Texas Mining District 10/7/2010 Volcanoguy visited it