Riepetown and Copper Flat

Riepetown - or Reipetown, was laid out in December 1907 by Richard Riepe, a German immigrant. The camp became the home for foreign-born mine families and also home to most of the saloons, dance halls and gambling halls in the district - the nearby company towns of Kimberly and Ruth prohibited establishments of these kinds. By 1909, Riepetown was known as the "wettest town in the county...16 saloons adequately served the district." It was also one of the roughest places in the state. A post office opened on May 1, 1909, but it only lasted until April 30, 1912.

A fire in 1917 destroyed many of Riepetown's saloons, and the town was expected to fade. However, because a town of 200 had developed there, the saloons were rebuilt. In 1917, the county enacted stricter controls on liquor licenses and Riepetown was incorporated so it could issue and control its own licenses. The state legislature forced disincorporation in 1919, and saloons were eliminated by Prohibition shortly thereafter. Keeping its reputation, Riepetown hosted bootlegging establishments during that time.

Riepetown would maintain a small, dwindling population for a number of years until, like Kimberly, the town was wiped out by large scale mining.

I Visited the Liberty Pit
6.30.2006

See Also
RuthKimberly & Veteran

Bibliography