Burke, Idaho

Burke is a ghost town in Shoshone County, Idaho.  Once a thriving silver, lead and zinc mining community, it is far smaller now than at its height.  In 2002, about 300 people lived in or nearby in the lengthy and narrow Burke Canyon, about 300 feet in width.  In its early years, Burke was home to the Hercules silver mine, as well as the location of the Hecla and Star Mines.  After years of decline, Burke mining operations finally ceased in 1981, with the closing of the Star Mine, which reopened for a short period in the 1990s.

For the last three summers I spent time sharing the history of Burke with people who take the Ghost Town Trolley.  I enjoy learning about the history of the Silver Valley where I live, and sharing those stories with others.  And it is part of my own family's history as well, because my dad's family lived up in Burke Canyon before he was born.

Here are some shots I took of Burke last September on a photo walk with my brother.

If you want to enjoy a real ghost town, journey up Burke some day, and you will see what is left of a thriving mining area with stories that can fill volumes.

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