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In December 1906, prospector Jim Swanson made a discovery of a rich gold and silver deposit in the hills near what became Rawhide. He was soon joined by Charles Holman and Charles  McLeod, who also found sizeable deposits nearby on Hooligan Hill. McLeod had recently been ordered to cease prospecting around the nearby camp of Buckskin, and bitter about this, he suggested the name of Rawhide for the new camp, as a play on the name of the Buckskin camp he held with contempt. Word spread, and both Holman and McLeod sold their claims to investors and moved on to Stingaree Gulch later in 1907, where they found yet another large deposit. The two men sold these claims for even more money, and then left the area to prospect elsewhere.

In the short span of two years the town went from its peak population of 7000 people (Mar. to June, 1908), to fewer than 500 people by the latter part of 1910. Helping push the decline of the town even further along was a disastrous fire which swept through Rawhide in September 1908, along with a flood in September 1909, from which many people did not recover or rebuild. While the original mines worked out the last of the gold and silver from the veins first discovered by Swanson, Holman, and McLeod, people began to leave the area, moving to the next “big thing”. While there remained a few people eking out a life working in the mines, or processing the ore, or just working their own claims and prospecting, for all intents and purposes the town became a hollow shell of what it once was.

Kennecott Minerals and Pacific Rim Mining Corp. created a huge open pit mine, which completely obliterated the original site of Rawhide.

What remains of Rawhide Cemetery at Stingeree Gulch north of the original townsite.


Rawhide3 rawhide4



Iraqi T-72 tanks south of the original Rawhide townsite. I presume they were used for preparation for the invasion of Iraq.




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