South Pass City
South Pass City
Blacksmith Shop: This 1915 shop contained a forge and tools to repair wagons and horse-drawn equipment. When automobiles became common, the smith had to learn new skills and obtain new types of tools and parts. This building was built of logs salvaged from the 1868 Ticknor Store, located on Price Street just south of Willow Creek.
Carissa Saloon: The Carissa dates to the 1890s and operated sporadically until 1949. An earlier saloon called the "White Swan" doubled as a whorehouse and was located next door to the east. The stone-walled remains of the "cribs" used by the Swan's "soiled doves" is visible in the hillside near the northeast corner on the Carissa.
Carr Butcher Shop: During the early 1900s, William Carr operated a butcher shop here. Animals were killed and quartered at his corral in Slaughterhouse Gulch, about two miles south of town, and then processed at the shop
E.A. Slack Cabin: Esther Morris was the first woman in the nation to hold political office. She served successfully as a justice of the peace in South Pass City in 1870. The five room cabin where she lived with her second husband and sons was located about 50 feet east of this reconstruction. E.A. Slack, Esther's son published his newspaper the South Pass News and lived in this house beginning in 1871. The original building burned in December 1871 and Slack moved his press to Laramie, Wyoming where he published the Laramie Daily Independent. The original Gordon Hand Press, which survived the fire is located in the building.
The Cave (Fort Bourbon): The massive interior stone wall was built in 1868 to protect perishable food and liquor. Folklore says when townspeople feared Indian attacks, women and children were locked safely in the back while the men went out to fight.
Gold Mining Interpretive Center: Gold mining interpretive center originally a mercantile store built in about 1874 by town constable Jim Smith, the store stocked goods for miners, residents and cowboys. The building was used as a warehouse after 1896 for the neighboring Smith-Sherlock Company Store. Today, the building houses exhibits covering the processes of gold mining associated with the Sweetwater Mining District.
Libby House: This residence was built by Harry Libby in the spring of 1899 after he was dismissed by Carissa Mine superintendent, Barney Tibbals. The Libby Family left town in February of 1900, having sold the cabin to Joe Blewett. Sold again in 1901 to J J. Marrin and Anna Tibbals, the building may have been used in 1901 as a pest house or "isolation hospital" during a small pox outbreak.
Livery: This barn was built in the 1890s of logs salvaged from earlier structures. This part of town was the location of many stables which catered to miners, investors and locals who wanted to rent or buy horses, wagons or stable their own animals. It was also the scene of clandestine activities, at least one gun and many more whiskey bottles were buried under the floor of this stable and later discovered by archaeological excavations.
Exchange Saloon & Card Room: Beginning about 1873 the building was converted into the Exchange Saloon and operated as such, through the turn of the century. The lean-to next to the building was added to the saloon as a card room during the 1880s.
Miner's Exchange: John Swingle, a county commissioner, building contractor, bar owner, stable owner and undertaker, erected this structure in 1869. The Miner's Exchange Saloon was a popular meeting place where gold could he exchanged for whiskey. Later, the building was used as a residence. A millinery operated by two "rough women" in this building may have disguised a bordello in the rear.
Reniker Cabin: William Reniker, a Civil War veteran, lived in this cabin when not working his gold mine on Reniker Peak, northwest of town. He moved the cabin to this location from another site. The exhibit depicts the residence of one of the town's many single, male miners.
School House: Citizens built this school just west of the parking lot about 1890. The building was moved away from the creek to this location in 1911. The school closed about 1948 when the last families with children moved away.
The John & Lida Sherlock House: This house was built during the 1890s and early 1900s. The original building on this lot was a large hotel which burned about 1877. The Sherlock's were the most affluent family in South Pass City, and this house was the only structure in town with it's own well.
Smith-Sherlock Company Store: Built in 1896 of logs salvaged from the 1870 Episcopal Church, this building replaced the original Smith Store next door. The Sherlock Family operated this business and post office until 1948. Peter Sherlock, blinded during an 1880s mining accident, was the store clerk. He could find any item in the store that a customer requested and recognized patrons by the sound of their footsteps. Today, the Friends of South Pass, a non-profit organization, operate the business.
The South Pass Hotel: Opened as the Idaho House in 1868, this was the finest of many hotels in South Pass City. It was acquired in 1873 by Janet Sherlock, the widowed mother. Operating a hotel was considered a respectable business for a proper woman of the time. The hail stage stop was at the front door. The office also served as the town post office. Robert Todd Lincoln, General Phil Sheridan, and other notables stayed here. The Sherlock Family quarters are accessed from the rear of the building.
Restaurant: Janet Sherlock-Smith built the restaurant as an addition to the South Pass Hotel in 1899. The front room became the hotel's new lobby with the dining room and kitchen to the rear.
Wolverine Mine: This small mine was dug in search of a vein of gold ore. Known as the Wolverine Mine, it never produced a paying quantity of gold and was soon abandoned. The exhibit allows visitors to safely enter a mine tunnel and experience the dark, enclosed atmosphere of a mine.
Pictures and information were provided by Friends of South Pass City
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