Silver City Schoolhouse (Museum)
Silver City Schoolhouse (Museum)

Silver City, established in 1864, is an historic mining town situated in the Owyhee Mountains of southwest Idaho. The school was built in 1892 and was used until 1934 when the county seat moved to Melba and the population rapidly declined. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Owyhee Cattle and Horse Growers leased the building from Melba School District. A private museum of memorabilia of Owyhee County and Silver City was maintained on the upper level of the building since the 1960s. With the help of the May family and a federal grant the building has been extensively restored and is open to the public in the summer months. The school is part of the Silver City Historic District and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The Historic Silver City Foundation, Inc. owns the Schoolhouse.

The Idaho Heritage Trust has been fortunate to be able to help with the Silver City School restoration project. The Historic Silver City Foundation received help from Senator Larry Craig and funds were forthcoming from federal rural programs to get the project off the ground. Trust architect Fred Walters provides the architectural oversight. And in 2005 and 2006, Tom May chose to contribute $100,000 in stock to the Idaho Heritage Trust in memory of his brother Eric May. These funds are re-granted to the Historic Silver City Foundation for work on the Schoolhouse. How appropriate it all seems. Ancestors of Tom and Eric May first came to Ruby City, Idaho in 1865. Edward Nugent became the first judge to serve Idaho's 3rd Judicial District. He and his wife Agnes Frost Nugent raised their family in Silver City.

Marty Peterson, a homeowner in Silver City, and driving force behind the school's restoration, is one of the Trust's founders.
He serves as liaison between the Trust and the other contributors.

But 140 years after Edward and Agnes Nugent arrived in Silver City, much of the town remains as it was when they moved there. The Idaho Hotel, which would have been being moved from Ruby City to Silver City, continues to rent rooms and serve meals. The Nugent house, on the north side of Jordan Creek, sports a new coat of paint. And the Silver City School, which Judge Edward Nugent and his wife Agnes, along with their three children, watched being built, is about to be restored to its original site.

-From the Nugent/May Family History
In Memory of Eric May

Silver City Schoolhouse (Museum)
Silver City Schoolhouse (Museum)

Silver City Schoolhouse (Museum)
Silver City, Owyhee County

  • Grants: Silver City Schoolhouse, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007; school support, 2001-2003, 2011

Location: Silver City Schoolhouse is located on a shallow bench on the east side of Jordan Creek in the north central portion of the Owyhee Mountains of southwest Idaho approximately 75 miles from Boise.

Silver City, Idaho 83650

The school houses a museum and is open to the public in the summer.
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