The Sierra Silver Mine just north of Wallace, Idaho, while a poor silver producer finds new life as an educational hotspot where tourists learn the history of Idaho’s richest mining district, view demonstrations of hard-rock mining, and see samples of regional ore.
The Crystal Gold Mine is one of the first hard rock mines in Silver Valley, Idaho. It is a remarkably preserved example of mining in the 1880s. The original ore cart, tracks, tools. and many gold laden quartz veins remain in place thanks to the mine’s surprising history.
The Wallace District Mining Museum celebrates 130 years of silver, lead, zinc, and gold mining in the “Silver Capital of the World” and the Coeur d’Alene Mining District.
As the “Silver Capital of the World,” Wallace, Idaho is awash in silver mining history sites. The most accessible of these is visible from Interstate 90, sharing a lot with the Wallace Chamber of Commerce. The ambiguously named “Silver History Site” is a public park dotted with mining equipment. The exhibit’s head frame, stamp mill, ore car, drills, bits, and even a closed tunnel is capped off with a statue of a miner with his wife and child, dedicated to all miners and their families.
Hidden in the back of the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, the Idaho Museum of Mining & Geology is a repurposed structure featuring 2300 square feet of maps, regional mining artifacts, and dioramas educating visitors on Idaho’s mining history and mineral wealth. Displays demonstrate the tools and techniques of placer and lode mining including a model stamp mill and mine elevator. While a model miner’s camp demonstrates how miner’s lived while working their claims.