Wallace, Idaho

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Glacial Lake Missoula

Wallace, Idaho has a rest stop on the edge of town that commemorates the town's mining history. As will be obvious, it was snowing when we stopped here.

The town has a picturesque downtown district that served as the location for the 1996 film Dante's Peak.

Various ways of reinforcing the walls of a tunnel. A spray-on concrete called gunite provides protection from crumbing. Rock bolts are drilled deep into the rock and increase the overall strength of the rocks along the walls. Chain link supplies additional reinforcement.
Plates bolted to the walls provide reinforcement of larger areas.
A small engine for a mine train. Electricity dominated in earlier days, but diesel power took over as mine ventilation improved.

Most mines now dispense with rails and use conventional earth movers underground.

A timber car for carrying mine timbers.
A small bucket loader and ore car.

A couple of decades ago you could find abandoned equipment like this in any old mining district. Most of it has been scarfed up by museums and antique hunters.

The open car with the roof carried miners.
A horse-powered cable reel. The track would have been worn as the horse walked around. The horse turned a horizontal gear that in turn drove the reel.
Head frame and ore dump. The head frame stood over a vertical shaft and raised and lowered ore, miners, and equipment.
Array of rock drill bits, both hand- and power-driven.

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Created 15 November 2005, Last Update 10 June 2020