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Wallace & the Silver Valley - Idaho

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 Wallace: Where to Stay | Camping

Historic Wallace Idaho

Wallace is one of the few towns in America where the whole community is on the National Historic Register. Lying alongside Interstate 90, east of Coeur d'Alene, the town is a living testament to the early silver mining days in the state, complete with an original historic hotel. The Coeur d'Alene District Mining Museum provides a good overview of the town's history with a slide show, mining relics, photos and displays of old mining techniques.

The downtown area features many original buildings including the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot -- now a museum -- built of bricks imported from China, the former courthouse -- the Smokehouse Building, built in 1890, the Queen Anne-style Rossi Building, and the old White & Bender grocery store building now occupied by Silver Capital Arts. These buildings and more were designed by some of the leading architects of the day. The Sierra Silver Mine Tour leaves hourly from downtown Wallace, taking visitors on a surrey ride and then into the mine which extends deep into the ground. You're allowed to pick up and take core samples from the mine floor.

 What to See & Do

This beautiful mountain region called the Silver Valley is home to many artists and crafts people and one of the best places to visit to sample local works of art is in an old 1900 log home which has been converted into the Cottage Creations Gallery. It's located just west of Wallace on old Highway 10 (Osburn Frontage Rd.). North of Wallace are several old mining camps. The best preserved of these is Murray, where a former bar is now a museum.

Between Coeur d'Alene and Wallace are several points of interest. Idaho's oldest building, the Cataldo Mission, was constructed by the Coeur d'Alene Indians in 1850 for Father Ravalli, a Jesuit missionary. With foot-thick walls, built without nails, the mission is perfectly situated in a mountain pine forest. It has a domed altar, elaborately carved statues and a large wooden cross. The Coming of the Black Robes Pageant is held annually, in mid-August. Enaville is a resort area near the mission; another of the little historic towns of the valley, this one offers camping in private and forest campgrounds and the old "Snake Pit" Hotel which now serves food and drink to visitors.

Day Trips from Wallace

A scenic way to travel between Enaville and Wallace, is the backroad tour along the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River to Pritchard, another old mining camp. The tour continues to Murray, and across King's Pass and Dobson Pass to Wallace.

At Pritchard, another backroad leads north past the Avery Creek Picnic Area with a right fork road leading beside Shoshone Creek to the Berlin Flats (forest) Campground and the left fork road leading to several more forest recreation sites and a trail which leads to Shadow Falls and Fern Falls.

Hotels

The Historic Jamieson Hotel
6th & Pine streets
(208) 556-1554
This old, small hotel is an absolute gem -- a vintage 1908 brick building in downtown Wallace, turned into a fine B&B inn with six rooms and shared baths. The inn is airy and delightfully decorated. Continental breakfast is served and there's a great restaurant downstairs. The Jamieson Saloon is also in the building.

Wallace Inn
100 Front Street (208) 752-1252
Best Western, rooms and suites, at the West Wallace Plaza. This is a modern motor hotel.

Camping

Blue Anchor Trailer Park
(208) 752-3443
There are 40 sites for RVs and trailers with hookups and propane. It's near exit 57 off Interstate 90.


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