Elkhorn Ghost Town State Park
- Things to See, Ghost Towns, City and State Parks
- General info
Wander through a once-thriving silver mining town. Booming in 1870, Elkhorn, with only a few residents, is now considered a ghost town by many. Many of the original buildings are still intact though they are privately owned. Two buildings that have not been renovated are the Fraternity Hall and Gillian Hall, both of which you can explore. An old cemetery holds the tragic memory of the 1888 diphtheria epidemic during which many children died.
The Elkhorn Mine was discovered in 1870 by Peter Wye, a native of Switzerland. Peter Weiss, William Hahn, and Herman Koch had discovered the first mine in this area only two years earlier.
A. M. Holter, an Alder Gulch pioneer, devel- oped the Elkhorn Mine in 1875. A mill was built in 1884 and a smelter the following year. By February of 1888, the mine’s monthly production was valued at more than $30,000. Daily rail service started in 1887.
Much of the surrounding timbered areas near Elkhorn were clear-cut prior to 1887 to provide fuel for power in the mines and heat for homes. More than 500 woodsmen and 1,500 mules worked in the woods. Elkhorn’s population reached 2,500 in the 1880s, additional hundreds lived in the surrounding gulches.