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Bayhorse got a start in 1864 when a few small gold veins were found and a small camp began. The name came about when area prospectors met a miner who had been digging between Clayton and Challis with the help of two bay horses. The man told the others that he had discovered rich mining opportunities up a steep canyon on the north side of the Salmon River. Because the other prospectors couldn’t remember the man’s name, they simply referred to him as the "man with the bay horses” and the name stuck.

It wasn’t until 1872, that the Bayhorse area really began to attract numerous miners when three men by the names of W.A. Norton, Robert Beardsley and J.B. Hood discovered a rich vein of silver. Robert Beardsley and his brother soon started the Beardsley Mine which overlooked the mining camp. When a prospector named Tim Cooper found another rich silver vein, he started the Ramshorn Mine. Other mines soon followed and within months, men, machinery and cabins quickly populated the area. 

The size of the mining camp increased again in 1877 when hard rock mining began for silver and lead. By the following year, the mine was operating on a large scale, with numerous tunnels spread throughout the area. A stamp mill and smelter were completed in 1880 and businesses quick.

Bayhorse’s peak years were during the 1880’s and 1890’s, when the hillsides were dotted with cabins and the town included numerous saloons, boarding houses, assay offices, banks, a stone Wells Fargo building, a post office, six beehive kilns to make charcoal for the smelters, several ore and timber mills, and two cemeteries. The town’s population reached a high of about 300 residents.

The Ramshorn Mine remained productive until 1888, at which time other mines were also declining. By 1896, the beehive kilns were abandoned and in 1889 the town was struck by a fire which destroyed several buildings. Over the next decade more mines closed and people began to leave the area. By 1915, all mining operations had ceased and Bayhorse had become a ghost town. 

NOTE: When I visited this area in early 2017, this ghost town had it's gates closed due to high snow run off, so all of my photos were taken from outside the gate through the trees. I got no photos of the charcoal kilns.

The photos of this Ghost Town are on WarrenWillisPhotography.com: [Click Here to view]

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