This research represents an intriguing look back into Northeastern Washington’s gold rush days of miners, prospectors, pioneers and boom towns of yesteryear. This history revolves around the six historic mining counties of Northeastern Washington: Chelan, Kittitas, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Okanogan, the largest county in Washington State. In these six historic counties exist some of the most irresistible and historic regions in this state.
As a young boy my father regularly brought me here fishing, hunting, and camping. That was more than 37 years ago, and I'm still here today. Ever since those early years of my childhood I have been inspired by the beauty and tranquillity of this country.
When the history of this country beckoned me, I began to explore and research more about the history of its miners, prospectors, pioneers, and of the old boom towns of yesteryear.
I talked to local folks from around my area of Winthrop, some being pioneers in their days, as well as volunteers from local historical museums in the surrounding areas. Everyone that I talked to was very knowledgeable, helpful and enjoyed sharing old stories. I read many books, old articles and looked at hundreds of pictures from the archives in the historical museums during my research.
After many hours of research on the history of old boom towns, prospectors, pioneers, and places of Northeastern Washington, I struck out to explore and locate these relics of yesteryear.
Places like The Fourth Of July Mine, First Thought Mine, Arlington Mines on Ruby Hill, and the Alder Mine on Alder Creek, south of the town of Twisp. These mines over a century ago produced millions of dollars in gold and silver, as other miners and prospectors continued to search the hills for their bonanza ore.
So, if you're not looking to get rich, but would like to revisit the boom town days of yesteryear and relive some of Washington's history, excitement is just waiting for you in Northeastern Washington.
If you are a student developing a report for school I'm certain that you will find this site to be a wealth of information of both the past and the present of Northeastern Washington. In the end you may find yourself as captivated by this part of the state as I did as a young boy. Send us a copy of your report and we'll post it on the website for the world to see!
Without history there would be no heritage, and only by gathering the fading old memories of yesteryear, and handing them down from generation to generation, can we preserve it. Neither the present nor the future can be complete without the past.
Thanks for visiting, and come again soon! - Jerry Smith
(L-R) Jim Sr. and Jim Jr. (the webmaster) exploring the remains of the historic First Thought Mine on Ruby Hill.
Boom Towns and Relic Hunters is dedicated to my father and best friend Lloyd E. Smith, 1921-1996, who enjoyed exploring the hills and valleys of Okanogan County. To our mother and grandmother, Fern Adele Pfeiffer, who has contributed so much love for her family and friends. We love you!
NOTE: Boomtowns and Relic Hunters is an informational and educational website. I am not making monetary profit from the site, only the reward of sharing my fascination with the long gone history of Northeastern Washington. If any of the information on this site belongs to you and you'd rather not have it located here, please let me know and it will be removed. Where possible I have credited authors of articles and photographs. Most of the historical photographs courtesy of The Okanogan Historical Society.