If we asked you to name an Idaho ghost town, the first one that probably comes to mind is Silver City. 

And we can't fault you for that! Silver City is probably Idaho's most "well-known "Ghost Town," but it's not entirely abandoned. It's also where you'll find the Idaho Hotel, Idaho's second oldest building being used for its original purpose. The history of the hotel and how it ended up in Silver City is fascinating, but people are primarily drawn to it for supernatural reasons. It's rumored that the ghosts of two men who died in a shoot outside the hotel still haunt guests today. Others say that the ghost of the former owner who took his own life at the hotel still haunts Room 27, where he used to live.

But this story isn't about Silver City. It's about what's probably Idaho's most unique ghost town!

Welcome to Burke, Idaho!

In the late 1800s, if you found something valuable beneath a hillside it became a prime place to set up shop for a mine. After the discovery of silver ore in this Northern Idaho canyon, it became a hot spot for mining.

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This particular canyon wasn’t just rich with silver. It was also rich in zinc and lead. Word spread of the potential riches in Burke Canyon, attracting hundreds of people to the area. Over the next few years, the town of Burke started to build up in the canyon that was just 300 feet wide. The narrow space made Burke an architectural wonder. Its main street and railroad tracks shared the same space. Whenever a train came through town, cars and pedestrians would have to clear the way. 

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The architectural feat that Burke was best known for was the Tiger Hotel, a 150-room boarding house for miners, that had to straddle the railroad. Yes, the main street, railroad and a stream all ran through the lobby of the hotel. It was damaged in a fire and eventually torn down in 1954. 

The hotel wasn’t the only part of town ransacked by a natural disaster. The town itself was plagued by avalanches, floods and fires, including the Great Fire of 1910. Because of labor disputes, there was also violence among the miners in town. 

Eventually, mining operations started to slow and people started leaving Burke. Once home to the Hercules, Hecla, Star and Tiger mines, Burke’s final mining operations ceased in 1991. Today, the town is abandoned, but the remains of a handful of buildings are still standing. It looks like the town that time forgot.  

Over the last few years, several drone pilots have flown their drones over the town. Others have filmed through car windows as they drove through the ghost town. Burke is just a few miles from the very historic Wallace, Idaho. 

The film is eerie when you compare it to some of the historic photographs you see on old postcards for sale on eBay! 

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter these properties. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property. There are multiple no-trespassing signs. 

Eerie Video Shows What's Left of One of Idaho's Most Unique Ghost Towns

The back of one of these historic postcards describes Burke, ID like this "This quaint show-piece of the area’s early-day mining is jammed in a canyon with hardly room for its street, railroad and stream. Shoshone county is one of the world’s great mining regions and has produced over 2 billion dollars - mostly in lead, silver and zinc." Burke's mining operations came to a halt in 1991 and the remaining residents left town. Today, the structures that have survived look like the town that time forgot. Read more about the history of Burke HERE.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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