Steam-powered drill

This drill, on display at the Wallace District Mining Museum & Visitor Center in Wallace, Idaho, is the last-known steam-powered drill and was used in the early 1900s.

The Wallace District Mining Museum & Visitor Center in downtown Wallace, Idaho, commemorates the 130-year old mining district of Coeur d’ Alenes.

Exhibits walk visitors through stages of mining including exploration, drilling, blasting, timbering, tunneling, aerial tramming and surface transportation.

The museum also contains artifacts, maps and memorabilia showcasing the area’s silver mines, including the Star-Morning, Sunshine, Bunker Hill and Lucky Friday mines.

Wallace calls itself the “Silver Capital of the World” and is nestled in the hills of in Shoshone County, which produced 1.2 billion ounces ofsilver since 1884.

Nearby, the Sunshine Mine was the site of a disastrous fire in 1972 that led to the creation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. A 13-foot-tall monument of a miner with an ever-glowing headlamp pays respect to the 91 miners who died.

Other area attractions related to the mining industry are the Sierra Silver Mine Tour, on which visitors can view a silver mine from a trolley, and the Wallace Brewery, featuring beers with mining-themed names such as the “Jackleg Stout.”

Wallace is a 12-hour drive from Elko or a 1.5-hour jaunt from the Spokane, Washington, airport.

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Mining Quarterly - Mining, state and county reporter

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