The Oldest Mining Town in Washington
We travel US Hwy 97 often on our way to North Central Washington. We’ve seen the sign for Liberty, WA but have always driven right on by. On our last trip to Lake Chelan, we had some extra time so we drove the two short miles up to the historic mining town of Liberty. Liberty is part ghost town, part living, small community. The residents took on the US Forest Service in the 1970’s to gain titles on their own properties. The Forest Service created the Liberty Washington Historical District, but a bill was passed by congress allowing the residents to purchase their own land.
As you drive into Liberty, WA old mining equipment rusting on the side of the road provides evidence of its former glory days. The old house about to collapse on the north side of the road belonged to T. F. Meagher, a prosperous miner who laid out the town and originally called it Meaghersville. The place boomed with miners. The two story house at the eastern end of town is the former Meaghersville hotel.
Now there are now about a dozen people who still call Liberty home, and believe it or not, some of them are still mining. As the oldest mining town in Washington, you can view its historic significance through out the town. There are pictures in the fire hall and a kiosk with pictures outside. There is an arrastra, a primitive mill for grinding and pulverizing (typically) gold or silver ore, across the street from the fire hall.
The area is also popular with ATV and Jeep owners as there are plenty of trails for off road vehicles and snowmobiles in the 2 campgrounds that are in the area for those who want to explore – Swauk and Mineral Springs. Not far away is the Pike Creek Snow Park where cross country skiers can come and explore the trails in tranquility.