Monday, September 10, 2012

Old Selam and Golden Trails - Karen Bumgarner

Karenshorsetales Blog


Gold was first discovered near Centerville, Idaho on Grimes Creek August 2, 1862. The discovery started one of the greatest gold rushes the world has ever seen….the richest strike in America, with an estimated take of than $250,000,000 from this area in the two decades following its discovery….greater than the California 49er and of the Klondike in Alaska. Nearby Bannock City grew to 6000 people, with 250 places of business. Bannock City was later renamed Idaho City grew to hold 20,000 miners. Idaho City, became the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, until a couple severe fires in 1865 and 1867 destroyed much of town. Even then thousands of miners traveled to the area with tiny towns springing up everywhere. Most have vanished without a trace. But this year Idaho City, Placerville, Pioneerville and Centerville held their 150 year celebration.

Nowadays its all pretty quiet around the area. With the price of gold a few miners have tried their hand at dredging and sluicing out the precious metal but with marginal luck. The area around New Centerville has been home to the Old Selam Endurance Ride for several years. And I love to go to this ride because its just refreshing to go to the hills and creeks. Oscar Baumhoff allows us to invade his space and camp on his property along Grimes Creek. Just out of camp are some large piles of mine tailings from days of long ago. I went up to the ride this year with a very sore back and was determined to ride a day. I popped some pain pills and wore an Absorbine Patch. I told Thunder that he was in trail horse mode which meant slow, steady and calm. With each mile I got better and by days end of up and down hills, numerous creek crossings on Grimes, Elk and Clear Creeks I felt ready for the dance!...

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