Mines in this part of Idaho were first worked in the 1880s and 1890s but development didn’t start in a serious way until the 1920s when the first mill was built on this site. The mill was expanded in 1934 into a 50-ton (per day) mill. The lead and silver ores were so rich, the 50-ton mill was scrapped, and a new 100-ton mill was built the following year. Prospects continued to look bright and, in 1937, the mill was expanded again. In 1941, floatation tanks were added for zinc recovery.
The mine had an unusually long and productive life. It produced over six million ounces of silver and 83 million pounds of lead! The mine was finally closed in the 1980s due to lower metal prices and the high cost of pumping water out of the lower levels of the mine.
We were fortunate to be given a tour of the mill by the on-site caretaker through prior arrangements. This is private property. Please do not trespass and enjoy my photos instead.
Last Updated on March 1, 2021 by Guy Starbuck