By Jerry Dolph and Arthur Randall
In January of 1884, 36 year old Wyatt Earp and his third wife Josephine, and two brothers, James and Warren, joined in a stampede” of humanity bound for the fabulously wealthy Coeur d’Alenes of North Idaho Territory. For a bustling enterprising America, this was the greatest bonanza of the day. Such notables as Calamity Jane, Monte Verde, Molly-B-Damn and thousands of other western characters were in attendance, as were veterans of both the north and south in America’s great Civil War, as well as, gunfighters. gamblers and thieves who all
joined forces in their search for riches.
Near the end of his life (above) Wyatt stands silently gazing out over the Colorado River, doubtlessly remembering a wealth of pioneer experiences and those who shared them with him: gunfighters, Indians, buffalo hunters, gamblers, rustlers and the whole gambit of humanity that forged our great nation’s Western history.
Over the years, the fantastic wealth of the Coeur d’Alenes (first in gold, and then silver) has helped finance the building of the west and continues to supply the nation with much needed precious and industrial metals. In 1985, the 1,000,000,000th ounce of newly mind silver was brought up from deep within the bowels of the earth and production continues, with millions more each year.
The gold nugget (below) was found in 1997 laying on top of the ground, not far from the old towns of Eagle City and Murrayville (present day Murray).