Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Idaho Hotel-Silver City

Backside of the hotel and other buildings
When Lauri Robinson approached me about writing a “sisters” book together I jumped on the idea. As we chatted back and forth establishing their background and how the story would end we needed a town that the family would be traveling to at the start of the book. Preferably a mining town between where your two sisters would end up.

Tink on the Idaho Hotel porch
After some digging I came up with Silver City, Idaho. It was up and running in the time frame we needed. A discovery of gold on War Eagle Mountain in 1865 started the influx of miners and merchants. The failure of the Bank of California, which funded most of the mines, caused the mines to stop work in 1875. But some carried on until and there was a short revival in 1890. Mining didn't come to a complete shut down but irrigation and agriculture increased in the lower valley around the Snake River and the mountain towns dwindled.

Only a few people remain in Silver City today and mostly during the summer because the road to the mountain town is closed by snow from October to May.

When Lauri and I decided on using this town in our book, Tink(my dog) and I took a road trip to see how the stage coaches approached the town and what it looked like in the small valley near the top of the mountain.

old stamp mill
There are still some original buildings. The one that impressed me the most was The Idaho Hotel. It has a welcoming wide front porch that spans fifty-eight feet, it's three stories tall, and has beautiful woodwork inside. The current owners are restoring it to its original condition.

When it was built it was considered one of the best hotels in the Idaho Territory. It boasted a large dining room, kitchen, fifty guest rooms and a beautiful mahogany bar. It had a bath house and the backside is up against Jordan Creek. That back area was a Chinese laundry. Running water was piped into the hotel in 1869 and in 1878 the owner built an electric plant on Jordan Creek to illuminate the hotel and other businesses.

In 1871 a bar and additional rooms were added onto the east end. On July 4th in 1873 the townsfolk shot off a cannon in celebration and chattered a third of the window glass in the hotel. This gave the owners the nudge to remodel. The enlarged and improved by adding a woodshed, a large kitchen and two rooms over the barroom. In 1874 they add the costliest and handsomest mirror to ever travel to Silver City in the bar.

The hotel was also the depot for all the stage and express lines.

For a Sister's Love blurb:

Lorelei and Maggie Holmes make a desperate vow to reunite after an Indian raid on their wagon train leaves them orphans. Eight-year-old Lorelei is taken in by an impoverished family headed to a Colorado mining town and ten-year-old Maggie finds herself on the way to Portland, Oregon to live with a woman widowed during the Indian attack.

Ten years later, Lorelei’s adoptive father gambles away her birth mother’s locket and her only connection to her lost sister. Believing she needs the locket and to find Maggie, she sets out after the gambler and ends up in the company of a citified lawyer searching for the same man.

While cleaning a hotel room, Maggie discovers her mother’s locket in the possession of a gambler. Fear for her sister increases Maggie's determination. Never one to give up, she dogs the gambler until he agrees to help her find her sister.

Two sisters, two adventures, will they find one another or will the men helping them be their destinies?

This book is available at Kindle, Smashwords, and Nook for $.99





Kirsten Arnold said...

What a beautiful historic hotel. I'm glad to hear the new owners are restoring it. I'll have to try to visit that area next time I'm up that way.

FOR A SISTER'S LOVE sounds like a very touching story. Looks like I'll be visiting Amazon today.


Lauri said...

Great pictures, Paty, and I'm still jealous I didn't get to visit Silver City with you and Tink.

marybelle said...

A beautiful place to visit. What a lovely setting for your book.

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