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Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy #4thOfJuly! Celebrating Our Heritage @JacquieRogers #western

Celebrating Our Heritage

I love Independence Day, the picnics with family, and the ooohs and aaahs of the fireworks.  The 4th of July was the most celebrated holiday in the Old West for two reasons: 1) the weather is better in July than December; and 2) Christmas wasn't so commercialized in the 1800s.

This is a good day to remember our heritage and our history.  Of course, some of us are obsessed with days of yore anyway, but we'll ignore that.  One place that celebrates the actual Old West--life in the latter half of the 1800s, is Silver City, Idaho.  Very few boom towns survived to the 20th Century because most burned to the ground.  Those that were left either withered and died, or became tourist towns (e.g., Deadwood and Virginia City, Nevada).

Silver City did neither.  The citizens decided to restore the buildings as best they could (they get no funding for this--most have to work in the valley to be able to afford the restoration and upkeep).  It's a labor of love, emphasis on the word labor.  Old buildings are not easy to maintain, and if they need a plumber, well, the nearest plumber is two hours away, so everything costs considerably more than would in a normal suburban house.

The town has no electricity, but does have running water.  Many of the homeowners live there in the summer but these days, the road to Silver is closed from November to May, so only the winter watchman lives in town during those months.

Silver City Idaho
A deer takes a stroll down a Silver City street.

The citizens of Silver City decided to let the other towns have the tourist attractions--but they wanted to preserve the city as it was in its glory.  Speaking of Old Glory, the flag has a huge role in Silver City life.  If a house has a flag displayed, then the residents are home and receiving visitors.  If no flag, don't bother to knock.  Same goes for businesses.  If the flag is out, the store is open.

Pat's What Not Shop in Silver City
The flag is flying in front of Pat's What Not Shop (white building)
but not on the Silver City Fire and Rescue store (on the right),
so you know Pat's store is open and the other is not.
The flag was out at the Idaho Hotel June 17 - 19!  The entire hotel and everything in it is a museum, really.  You can spend hours looking at all the artifacts, and the owners can tell you just about anything about each one.  Truly amazing to stay in a place like that.  Each room has 19th Century artifacts collected from town as well.

We had quite a party at the hotel.  In fact, we filled all thirteen rooms, and kept Jerri Nelson (hotel co-owner) hopping for all the pies we ate.  That woman really knows how to make pie, let me tell you.  Or let Shirl Deems tell you.  I think she had a slice of every kind--took her all weekend but she's tenacious.

From the left: me, Honey Beaulieu, Shirl Deems.
Shirl was the champion pie-eater as well as starring
as Mountain Granma in the melodrama.
The music was awesome!  The program starred Daria Paxton and her dad, Matt Paxton.  They even managed to get her mom, Brenda Paxton, to play the accordion occasionally.

Paxton music! Daria on the fiddle, Matt on guitar and vocals, Brenda on accordion
We also had a melodrama.  It was really silly and every single one of us messed up our lines, but we had a great time and the audience (which included walk-in patrons who weren't part of our group) loved it, so I guess it was so horribly bad that everyone thought it was great.  That must be in the "if you can't sing good, sing loud" category.  You can see the video in two parts on my facebook page in the next few days (a friend posted it but didn't mark it public).  You can also see it at the Pickle Barrel.

In the afternoon, we had a multi-author booksigning.  USA Today Bestselling Author Ann Charles dropped in to say hi to Honey Beaulieu.  Ann partied all day and signed books in the afternoon.

Jacquie Rogers, Honey Beaulieu, Ann Charles
From the left: me, Honey Beaulieu, and Ann Charles
Authors Paty Jager, Charlene Raddon, and Kristin Holt came dressed for the occasion, as did Judith Laik.

Authors Paty Jager, Charlene Raddon, and Kristin Holt
Chelle Gluch
Tour Guide
Chelle Gluch took us all over the area.  She's an incredible tour guide.  We learned about the surrounding boom towns that are no more than foundations now, and also toured the cemeteries.  Jim Hyslop, a Silver City resident, gave a nice talk on the history of the town.  Dave Wilper took us all to church--he let us in and gave us a 30-minute talk on the history of the beautiful Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church.

The staff of the Idaho Hotel was incredible.  We had the place absolutely full but they kept everything humming along perfectly.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, should stay there at least once.  No, the road isn't that bad--just a little bump here and there, and two cars can even pass by each other on most of it.  But back to the staff.  They served above and beyond the call of duty, or even the call of Honey Beaulieu.

Some of the ladies who worked hard to make our event perfect.

We all love history and we celebrate the birth of our nation today.  All week, in fact.  The Great American Western Romance Week is here at Hart's Romance Pulse, July 3 to 9.  Check it out to find new books, enter to win prizes, and just generally have a good time.  Look for my post on this site July 6.

Happy 4th of July!

Keep up with Jacquie Rogers' latest news at the
Pickle Barrel Gazette!

Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch 
(Honey Beaulieu - Man Hunter #1)
Hearts of Owyhee series


  1. I agree everyone should go to Silver City Idaho at least once in their lifetime and the food at the hotel is phenomenal

    1. We had a great time! Thanks for coming and all the work you did, including videoing the melodrama.

  2. I agree everyone should go to Silver City Idaho at least once in their lifetime and the food at the hotel is phenomenal

  3. It was a fun weekend! Happy 4th everyone!

    1. Thanks so much for making the weekend a fun one! Happy 4th to you, too!

  4. I am so jealous. Looks like y'all had a WONDERFUL time! And PIE????I love pie! Lots of fun for everyone. Maybe next time for me!

    1. Cheryl, you really need to go! We had a rollicking good time and yes, that pie was to die for.

  5. Silver City sounds like a fun place to visit! So enjoyed hearing about it! Thanks for the post!

    1. It is, Karren! So interesting, too. You learn all sorts of things that we never think about these days when you actually stay there. It truly makes the Old West come alive because, well, it never died there.

  6. Sounds like your trip to Silver City was a rousing success. I'd love to go there. I'll visit the Pickle Barrel Gazette and watch the video.

    1. It was! You should come next time, Sandra! :) And the melodrama was really bad. The video is bad, too. So put it together and I don't think we'll be winning any Academy Awards. LOL

  7. It was something really special to get to spend a weekend there with a group of warm, friendly, talented people! I'm ready to go next year!

    1. You better! You're one of the Have-To crowd. I'm glad you had a good time.


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