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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kootenai River Ghost Town (Leonia, Idaho)

"Kootenai River Ghost Town (Leonia, Idaho)" is provided by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. What Idaho fly fishing float trip would be complete without passing, or even visiting, at least one certified Idaho mining ghost town? Leonia (aka Boulder City, Boulder Creek, Leonai and Lenia ) is (was) located at the western Montana/eastern Idaho panhandle line on the Kootenai River right where Boulder Creek dumps into the Kootenai. You would float right by the ghost town if you put in at the Yaak Montana state park. I'm guessing, but I would say it is about 6-8 miles down stream from the Yaak.

Read on and do your own research. Check out Boulder Creeks' founder John M. Schnatterly at Ancestry.com. Sounds as if he may have been a con man. Nothing much is left there but the cemetary and thank goodness nothing remains of the hydrolic mining operation that once raked the Boulder Creek gorge in the late 1800's and early 1900's. You might see the remenants of the old goat bridge crossing the river if you look carefully. 

Leonia (Boulder City) Idaho 1917 Depot and Town Buildings RPPC


Photo courtesy of ebay and WorthPoint: "Matte black and white real photo postcard showing the Great Northern Railway depot and town buildings at Leonia, Boundary County, Idaho. “Leonia” on the depot sign is readable on the actual postcard. The wintertime view is looking east toward Montana with the Kootenai River on the left. Postally used 1917 from Milwaukee, Oregon. Sender’s message does not say anything about the picture. Light surface wear, corner and edge wear, edge bends at upper left, slightly trimmed at the sides (3-3/8” x 5-5/16” actual size), good condition only. Rare location, though, since the Leonia Post Office was discontinued in 1954. The buildings that appear in this picture no longer exist."

Leonia (aka Boulder Creek), ID

"Ghost town" (several buildings and a cemetery); established as a post office named Leonai in 1892; named changed to Lenia in 1901 & to Leonia in 1923.


Leonia Cemetery


View all Internments 1898-1922. Check out one of the original settler’s obituaries: Jacob Lang. He was "Killed in Hay Meadow”. Or you might even want to read the obit of Frank Blakely who was “was shot to death in Leonia” in June of 1912.

Panning For Gold


Boulder Creek....Bonners Ferry area
"Aaron, panning for gold on Boulder Creek during our 2003 family campout. The only thing I can say is he didn't get rich but had a great time. There is also a ghost town nearby with old buildings (some still standing) and a graveyard, also lots of exciting history about a town called Leonia that my son Leigh is researching. Toni"

Boulder City Ghost Town


Eighteen miles east of Bonners Ferry, in the shadow of Katka Mountain and above Boulder Creek lay Boulder City Ghost Town. In the late 1800s, Idaho Gold and Radium Mining Company President, J.M.Schnatterly, founded Boulder City, also known as Ruby City, during the gold rush era.Boulder City sits precariously on the southern edge of a sheer gorge that drops into Boulder Creek. The city had an estimated population of 150 people with approximately 60 buildings along the banks of Boulder Creek.

Schnatterly controlled about 3,500 acres of land there in the Cabinet Mountain range and had water rights to Boulder Creek and its tributaries. Tons of gravel was washed from the canyon walls in those years, but little of the gold or rubies, which were really garnets, were ever discovered. The Idaho Gold and Ruby Mining Company separated gold from gravel in a unique and modern process for its time but as remarkable as this mine was it only managed to extract $150 in gold after 15 years. Tales of the fist sized rubies found no doubt kept the town growing at that time.

This is the legacy of Boulder City, an Idaho Gold and Ruby Mining Company town. Limited remains on site.

Access from County Road 24 east of Bonners Ferry turn left on to Forest Road No. 314.

Cool article about the town’s history


It’s no longer riches that draw folks to Boulder City

Kootenai Bull Trout
Enjoy visiting the Leonia (Boulder Creek) ghost time the next time you are fly fishing Idaho and the mighty Kootenai where the fly fishing will be great in June.

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags:  Kootenai River
           YSF Stinger
           Bull River Hogs - MT

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