Matt Brown struck gold today during his trip to Okanogan County, Washington. While exploring the area with a friend, the Alaskan Bush People star found himself at an abandoned town called Nighthawk, home to the Ruby Silver Mine. Always the one to share his experiences, Brown invited fans into the mining district to see just how much was left of the ghost town.
The first stop on Brown’s tour of the town was what he discovered was the “work station” where miners used the forge to mold and shape the metal. Above the entryway to the building was a “No Trespassing” sign. It is unclear whether this sign was supposed to keep visitors out before or after the mine closed, however, it didn’t seem to bother the Alaskan Bush People star either way.
Once inside, Brown noticed that the building had a peculiar smell.
“That smell of the old, you know. Kind of like the history is just like palpable.”
According to Ghost Towns of Washington, Nighthawk is one of the oldest mining districts in the state. The Ruby Silver Mine was in service during the 1860s, back when Washington was merely a territory. By 1903, the town had a hotel, railroad depot and saloon. While Nighthawk had several mines, the Ruby Silver Mine, the one the Alaskan Bush People star visited, was the most famous. Unfortunately, the town’s booming success was short-lived. By 1951, all mines in Nighthawk shut down due to operating costs and depreciated metal values.
‘Alaskan Bush People’ Star Likens Buildings to Childhood Homes
As Brown continues to explore the Ruby Silver Mine in Nighthawk, he admires the condition of the main house where most of the work outside of the actual shafts occurred. While the floors certainly had seen better days, the structure of the building was still fairly sturdy and spacious.
“This place is in good shape,” the Alaskan Bush People star remarked. “All these old places really remind me of, like, where and how I grew up because this was like my kind of lifestyle back in the day.”
Previously, when Brown starred on Alaskan Bush People, he and the rest of his family searched for structures like the abandoned warehouse to call home. Back on the islands in Alaska, Brown’s younger brother Noah even used an abandoned chicken coop as his quarters.
“All over the islands where I come from, we find places like this that are, you know, have so much history,” Brown shared.
That’s when his eyes fell on something magical.
“Look at this,” Brown said as he spun the camera around to show the rafters. Up in the corner sat a great horned owl peering curiously down at the exploring visitor.
Brown greeted the watchful creature. Then to his fans, he exclaimed, “That’s so cool.”
Perhaps a guardian of the ghost town, the owl seemed to be the perfect end to Brown’s visit to Nighthawk.