Idaho Town That Once Teemed With Life, Now Deserted

Once of the center of activites in Idaho territorial days, Mt. Idaho, established in the late fifties, was the mecca for thousands of people from all parts of the great Pacific northwest.  It was for many years the county seat of Idaho county and radiating in every direction was the great mining camps of central Idaho.  IN the Elk City, Florence, Warrens and other mining camps’ boom days, Mt. Idaho was the supply point and the village was the chief objective point of strangers.  Territorial conventions brought many of Idaho’s most active citizens and it was there that the first territorial convention was held in 1861.  With the removal of the count seat to Grangeville in the eighties, Mt. Idaho’s importance as a trading center waned and year after year it deteriorated until now nothing is left but dilapidated structures built during pioneer days, occupied yet by many of its pioneer residents. 

One of Idaho’s Oldest Hotels

Every pioneer of note in Idaho from territorial days onward is acquainted with L.P. Brown’s hotel, a structure built at Mt. Idaho in 1859.  It was regarded as one of the most palatial hostelries in the west during those early periods of central Idaho mining activities.  Political leaders of every party have honored the hotel with their presence.  Not a few of the best citizens of Oregon, Montana, Washington and California have occupied quarters there during those early days.  It was built and owned by L.P. Brown, a gentleman of culture who was among the first settlers at Mt. Idaho.  He had a host of friends and a disposition that warmed to him anyone who chanced to accept his hospitality.  He was the owner of the town site and because of his difficulty with merchants who desired to purchase property, which he held high, Grangeville was born and ultimately he saw the historic town which he established dwindle to a mere way station.  Many a political plot was hatched within its walls in territorial days.  The hotel still stands a monument to his energy and is the chief building remaining at Mt. Idaho.  Though with not its old time popularity, the place is still maintained as a stopping place by those chancing to pass through the old village.  Brown died in the nineties.






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