IDAHO CITY - History in Idaho City is usually always within reach, or at least within walking distance.
Just ask Rhonda Jameson, Idaho City's very own period costume-wearing historian. KTVB caught up with Jameson on Wednesday. She showed us that With a little imagination and some post cards from the visitor's center, Idaho's best-known boom town comes to life.
According to James, Idaho City's history starts in 1862 with the discovery of gold.
Jameson says in its hey-day, Idaho City was actually known as the Queen of the Gold Camps. That's because in the 1860's and 1870's there were upwards of 7,000 people, 41 saloons, and over 20 law offices.
It was bigger than Portland [at the time], Jameson adds.
What's more, Jameson says just like the San Francisco gold rush of 1849, everyone here in Idaho City wanted a piece of the buried treasure -- even 1,700 citizens from the Chinese working class who emigrated here searching for work.
According to historic records, those hearty pioneers mined, sifted, and sluiced over three million ounces of gold with a value today worth over $9 trillion.
However, by 1890 the population dropped drastically, to where only about 500 people called Idaho City home. It's stayed around that level for the last 100 years.
Jameson wants to make sure the history of this place is not forgotten.
We just try to keep everything as authentic as possible, Jameson told KTVB. We just try to preserve as much history as possible and live among it.