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A placer settlement—placer mining is mining in a streambed—along Williams Creek; here nuggets valued as high as $65 were found. According to old-timers, a single pan once ran as high as $1,365. The patriotic name was chosen by the first permanent resident, Gus Nelson, when he started the settlement. In 1891, he built a cabin, which was later used for a school, and then for a post office.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Liberty Historic District

The Swauk Mining District, originally organized in 1873 and of which Liberty is the center, still exists today and is believed to be the oldest organized mining district in the state. The Swauk Mining District dates from 1873, but gold was first found there in 1868.

Assay Office

Originally constructed as the Assay Office sometime prior to 1895. This is a good example of early architecture made with materials from the local area. The additions and modifications to the original Assay Office were made by miners who converted it into a residence. The presence of gold, wire gold, and placer mining influenced homesteading and prospecting in this area. Located in the Swauk Mining District, it was organized in 1883, and reorganized in 1884 by John Black, a prominent prospector of the 1880s. This structure was used by the early miners such as Charles Bigney, John Black, and T.J. Meager, for whom the town at one time was named (Meagersville). Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold from Washington’s own Swauk and Liberty has been attributed to the economy of the territory and state through the 1880s.