Silver City in need of new watchman

Posted at 8:46 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 11:27:08-04

As the snow fell in the Treasure Valley this last winter, even more- much more fell in Silver City.

But among the silence of the snow was one man, alone, watching over the historic mining town.

His name is Dave Wilper. He fell in love with the town long ago when he was just a child visiting his grandmother. Now, he's owned a cabin on the land for nearly four decades, but for the last few years, he's served as the town's watchman, but this year he has decided to retire. 

"My duties are to just take care of the town mainly," explained Wilper. "After we have a snowstorm I check every building for snow damage. Sometimes there will be a window broken out or a chimney that comes down, but I notify the homeowner and if it's something I can fix myself I do it, if not then they arrange to have it done."

In the late 60's after a lot of vandalism occurred they decided to hire a watchman to take care of the town all winter. The job has been filled ever since. 

"For one thing I've been up here forever so I know how everything works," said Wilper.

In the fall, Wilper said he has to bring in all of his supplies like canned goods, but for everything else, he has to rely on homeowners. 

"We have a lot of homeowners come up here on snowmobiles and stuff in the winter and they always call me," explained Wilper. "If I need anything they just bring my fresh stuff in and my mail."

But that's if they come. He said at times he gone weeks without seeing a soul.

With that being said, the job does come with perks.

"You can walk up to New York Summit in the winter and you can look out and it's like a gray ocean and the Boise Mountains are sticking out on the other end. It's all fogged in and the sun is shining gloriously up here," said Wilper.

While he said you have to like solitude to be right for the job, there are a few things that are required for every watchman. 

"We make our new watchman watch The Shining," laughed Wilper. "Where you see the flashing speed limit sign when you come into town, in the wintertime I've got a picture of Jack Nicholson from the shining where he does the here's Johnny thing. I've got that hanging in front of the speed limit sign and everyone comments on it and I say 'yeah, that would be me'."