Status: Active Town
Elevation: 3,094 Feet ( 943 meters)
Gallery: View 16 Pierce, Idaho Photos
County: View Clearwater County Mines
Date Settled: 1860
Current Population: 500
Peak Population: ~5,000
Primary Mineral: Gold, Silver
E.D. Pierce discovered gold in Canal Gulch in the Fall of 1860, and the town of Pierce was established at the site. The pierce courthouse, built in 1862 and still standing today, was Idaho's first government building. In 1863 an estimated 800 Chinese miners moved in to work the claims that were abandoned as prospectors moved to the next rush in Idaho City. In 1885 a gang of vigilantes hung five chinese that were accused of murdering a local business owner.
By the 1890's a timber industry had been established in the area which helped sustain Pierce well into the twentieth century, allowing the town to avoid becoming a ghost town like many other early mining camps.