Welcome to Western Mining History

Featured Mining Town: Mullan, Idaho

Featured Mining Town: Mullan, Idaho

Mullan was settled in 1884 near the discovery of significant silver deposits. The town still has an active mine, and is currently the site of the longest strike-related mine shutdown in Silver Valley history.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Wardner, Idaho

Featured Mining Town: Wardner, Idaho

The town of Wardner was founded in 1885 at the site of the Bunker Hill mine, the Coeur d’ Alene Mining District's largest producer. In 1899, The non-union Bunker Hill mine was attacked by a large force of union miners, resulting in the destruction of the mill and office building.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Burke, Idaho

Featured Mining Town: Burke, Idaho

Burke, Idaho was famous for being built in an impossibly narrow valley for a town site. Burke Canyon is just 300 feet wide, resulting in unprecedented and unusual building feats such as the Tiger Hotel that featured a railroad tunnel passing through the first floor.   Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Wallace, Idaho

Featured Mining Town: Wallace, Idaho

Wallace, Idaho is the economic center of the Coeur d’ Alene Mining District, in a region known as the Silver Valley in northern Idaho. The Silver Valley is the most valuable silver mining district in the United States with over a billion ounces of silver mined, and is one of the top three most valuable silver districts in the entire world.   Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Bonanza, Idaho

Featured Mining Town: Bonanza, Idaho

Settled in 1877, Bonanza was the first major settlement in the Yankee Fork area of Salmon River country in Central Idaho. By 1881, Bonanza had a population of over 600 residents, making it temporarily the largest settlement in the area.   Continue Reading

Journigan’s Mill – Death Valley National Park

Water tanks at Journigan's Mill

Journigan’s Mill was built in the 1930’s at a site in Emigrant Canyon that was near several springs. Water is Death Valley’s most precious resource, and mills were usually located where there was access to springs nearby. During the course of the mills roughly twenty years of operation, water would be piped to the site  Continue Reading