Kellogg, Idaho: Part Two

After moving back to Kellogg in 2000, I lived next door to a local museum, the Shoshone County Mining and Smelting Museum, also known as the Staff House Museum.  I got involved with the museum, and became a board member, and eventually was president of the board for a few years.

While on the board, I had the opportunity to learn all kinds of historical information about Kellogg and the Silver Valley.

One of the things I learned was that Noah Kellogg, who the town of Kellogg is named after, discovered the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company in 1885.  My dad was born in Kellogg in 1930.  If you do the math, this area had only been populated for about 45 years.  That isn't very long at all. 

My dad loved Kellogg, and loved living here.  When he was in high school, his mother moved to Spokane, Washington, and he moved with her, and did not like the move at all.  I recently found an old scrapbook of his from his high school days, and there were letters in there describing to friends how much he hated being away from Kellogg, and living in Spokane.  But he eventually made it back to Kellogg and brought his wife back here, and they raised their three children here.

Learning about the history of this area is quite interesting.  Kellogg and the Silver Valley have quite an historical past.  Because this was such a large producer of minerals in the late 1800's and early 1900's, many of the mining laws passed were developed here in the Silver Valley.  But back then, this area was known as "The Coeur d'Alene Mining District", of "The Coeur d'Alenes". 

First the gold rush up by Murray in the early 1880's brought people.  Then Noah made his way to the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, and discovered some galena on the side of a hill (with some help from his jackass), and before you know it, mines were being discovered up and down the river, as well as along Canyon Creek and Nine Mile Canyon.

Mining Wars were prevalent in the 1890's with the Frisco Mine Mill getting blown up in 1892, and the Bunker Hill Mine Mill getting blown up in 1899.  These wars were a result of the union trying to get better working conditions and wages for the miners in the area.  Some of the fallout from the 1899 mining war was the assassination of  Governor Frank Steunenberg in Caldwell, Idaho in 1905.

Kellogg and the Silver Valley now offer many opportunities to found out the history of the Silver Valley, through museum such as the Staff House Museum, The Wallace Mining Museum, the Northern Pacific Depot Museum, The Captain John Mullan Museum, and the Oasis Bordello Museum.  You can also learn about mining by visiting the Crystal Gold Mine that will take you into the mountain and show you a former gold mine, and the Sierra Silver Mine Tour, where again you go into the mountain and learn about silver mining practices.  To learn about the early mining days in Wallace and along Canyon Creek, up towards the mining town of Burke, you can take the Ghost Town Trolley tour.

There is so much history in this area.  It doesn't take long to find something interesting.

These are some other reasons why I love living in Kellogg, Idaho.

If the history of this area interests you, look on the right hand column of my blog, and I have quite an extensive list of books you can read about the history of the Silver Valley.

1 comment:

Jerald said...

Hi Ms. Roberts, Today I was reminded of my short residency in Kellogg from Jan. 1993 to July 1996.
The medical center needed an orthopaedic surgeon to replace the sole orthopaedic surgeon who was returning to Fla. Apparently his wife was not used to the cold. On a fling I responded to an offer and flew from GA to Spokane and drove over the mountains and experienced seeing Kellogg after dark with white snow and twinkling lights. Driving from Spokane I was enchanted by the snow covered trees and the tinkling of the falling snow in the still cold night air as I drove with my windows slightly down. In Kellogg I met a band of unusual "vagabonds" who like I had done, ie: leave a big city for the quiet lovely mountains of the Great North West. The three years I spent in the Silver Valley were the most enchnting with new dear friends that I ever experienced. I still miss the folks and the little town and its environs. Thanks Kellogg for the memory... Jerald Watts, M.D.