Bayhorse Ghost Mine

Just four miles down a decent dirt road, where Bayhorse Creek merges with Beardsley Creek, one can stroll through a ghost mine that was part of several mines developed in the area in the late 1870s. The mine's greatest years of production were from about 1882 to the 1890s.  During it most productive time there were between 300 and 500 people living near the mine.  A few buildings, ruins, and some equipment remain and the site is now part of Idaho's State Park system.

The concentrating mill is the most prominent structure on the site.  Built on a steep slope, a mill such as this took advantage of gravity to move rock down to be pulverized.  Successive grindings created ever more fine rocks.  The crushed ore eventually moved to settling tanks and finally to concentrating tables (at the bottom of the mill).

Mill with aged red mineral paint which helped preserve the wood and also acted as a fire retardant.

Mill.  The structure on the left was called the 'Caretaker's House".  No other information was provided.

Can you tell that we really liked this mill?  There were two paths that led to its multi-level structure and I think we explored every angle we could get!

Only surviving hotel of several Bayhorse hotels that existed in the camp in the mid 1880s.

Front view of Bayhorse Hotel.

One more take of the hotel.  The structure to the right of the hotel was a residence.

This is a mine building which is believed to be associated with the flotation process established at Bayhorse in the 1920s.  The building sits on what was once the site of a smelter.  A smelter was built to more cost effectively process the ore into silver bars.

Stone building.

Originally this structure was a one story residence.  Before 1870 a second story was added with access by an outside staircase.  It was in that part of the residence that an orderly from the Civil War, Charles Baker, would provide medical care to the camp's residents.  He delivered babies and tended to miner's injuries.  He lived there with his wife, Agnes, until 1907.

View of the residence from the other side.

We think this is a close up of part of the residence. 

No information was given about this structure.

The tin roof outlived the building it was on!  The ruin shows that it may have been a livery stable or barn as it has a gable hay door.  At some point the roof and three sides were covered with flattened tin sheets.  Some of the sheets now have a gorgeous red patina.

A photographer could spend a whole day just capturing close up detailed images.  The red mineral paint is now a faded pink.

There was no information on this structure.

Ruin up the hill but on the site.

Charcoal kilns supplied coal to be used to fuel the smelter.  The huge number of trees required for this activity transformed miles of the surrounding landscape for years.

Behind the fence and right in front of the mine building was a flower new to me.  I asked the park ranger if I might be allowed to carefully climb through the logs to get a good photograph.  He said, "Rather than climb through the fence, let me take you through the gate!"  This, I was told, is called a September flower and the plant is toxic.

We drove out over a very clear and pristine creek.