Searching a hillside across the Yankee Fork, three prospectors stumbled upon what would become the most famous mine on the Yankee Fork. Named after the popular military general, George Armstrong Custer, the General Custer Mine was a rich vein of ore, exposed by a snowslide. The discovery of the Custer Mine in 1876 transformed this small mining camp into a lively community and the site of the region’s most significant mining activity.
Founded in 1879, Custer flourished and what began as a tent community rapidly became a town of over 100 building lining both sides of it’s narrow main street. For 30 years, Custer experienced frenzied activity and growth as well as periods of uncertainty and decline until its final bust in 1911.
Charles Alexander Pfeiffer purchased this family home after his marriage to Ellen Louise Olson in 1890. Charles managed the Pfeiffer Store for his uncle and later worked as a gold and cleanup man at the General Custer Mill. As the family increased in size, a kitchen and bedroom were added to the family home. The roof shingles are made of flattened cans. Families in Custer were not an oddity, but certainly weren’t the norm either, as most miners and the supporting merchants were single men.