History of Distinct Towns & Mining Camps

This is a historical perspective of distinct towns or mining camps of Twin Falls County.

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Gold Camps sprang up on the banks of the Snake River during the gold rush period 1860s and 1870


In 1864 the mining town Drytown sprang up at the mouth of a 5 mile stream known as Dry Creek that ran South of Murtaugh Lake in Cassia county and flowed North through Murtaugh Lake to empty into the Snake River. This creek was known to dry up in the summer. Drytown began as a single traders tent and later accommodated restaurants, saloons, two general stores and a blacksmith.


In 1870 a gold mining settlement, grew up at the mouth of Mud Creek 2.5 miles South of Buhl which emptied into the Snake River. The creek was named for the muddy water. It died very early.


Shoshone City at the Little Shoshone (Twin Falls)

This was the largest of the mining camps. It began with four canvas shanties and a tent and later had saloons, dance hall and two general stores, one at the bottom of the canyon and one on top of the canyon.


Springtown, the longest lived mining town sprang up in the 1860s and laid in the canyon east of Twin Falls near the Hansen Bridge It grew over night when several hundreds of men poured into the area to pan for gold and for six years, it flourished, governed by a miner's court of swift rough justice and

until the gold ran out. For fifty miles up and down the river miners would come to buy supplies and send out to the mints in California and Nevada their gold diggings and findings.

There was nothing beautiful about the camp only huts made useable from material and rocks found laying around. A ladder hung on the canyon wall for a way to exit the canyon, A ferry boat also ferried men and goods across the river. Men of every type, color and physical description passed through the camp and last names were not used, men were known by first names, nicknames or by a physical characteristic. Very few lasting friendships ever occurred.

Later Chinese came and worked the diggings left by the miners and being exceptional good miners and hard workers were able to find suitable amounts of gold. Building crude rock huts for shelter and raising their herbs and vegetables in terraced gardens they remained in the area for about 10 years but this to ended.

Spring town later known as the (Mon-Tung Chinese site) began and passed away in to the deserted shadowed canyon with its secrets and unmarked graves forever buried.


Like its sister Mudbarville also died in infancy.

Snake River Canyon holds many secrets and stories. It was a tough period of time and a cruel river. Today it still holds its secrets and can still be cruel but is breathtaking with its beauty and if you listen well perhaps you can still hear the voices echoing through the wall 's of the canyon from the past.


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