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The Eagle Creek area of old mining camps is where one will find Sparta. But Sparta wasn’t always Sparta. First it was Koster, then Eagle City, then Gem and finally Sparta. William H. Packwood, a civic leader in Gem, proposed the town be renamed Sparta after his hometown-Sparta, Illinois. Several other civic leaders disagreed and suggested the town be renamed after their hometown. The squabble was finally resolved but not without some slight of hand on the part of Mr. Packwood. The others were unaware they were duped and the town became Sparta. The town flourished for a while but soon found itself running out of water. Raising capital, Packwood built a 32-mile ditch in two years that provided the much-needed water for continued mining operations. As soon as the ditch was completed, the gold supply started to run out. In 1915, all hard rock mining ceased and Sparta joined its sister towns of the Eagle Creek area.
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