On Jan. 14, 2009, four Idaho State Police officers on snowmobiles approached a building on the edge of Gilmore, Idaho, a former silver mining town once completely deserted but now accompanied by a handful of occupied homes. As the officers got close, gunfire came from the building and a gun battle ensued, with officers reporting hearing bullets zinging around them. They eventually retreated, leaving the snowmobiles behind.
The incident was never reported but eventually, word was leaked to the Post Register newspaper in Idaho Falls. The newspaper sought the police records, which were denied, and a nine-month court battle followed. The newspaper finally won and reported the story. The shooter was never discovered and the incident was added to the lore of the region.Silver miners in the 1880s settled in Gilmore. At its peak, there were 600 people in the town, but by the 1930s it had essentially been abandoned. It had been known for a number of fine homes and stores and a large power plant, which exploded in 1929. Problems associated with that explosion, plus the effects of the Great Depression, eventually led to the town’s demise. Today, eight log and frame structures remain after having been stabilized in 2010. Today in 2022 most of the town has been carved up into privately owned spaces for RVs and shacks. There are four structures that remain untouched and the descriptive signage remains.
Know Before You Go
The short gravel road leading to Gilmore can be accessed is 65 miles south of Salmon, Idaho.