100 Front Street, P.O. Box 867, Wallace, Idaho, 83873, United States
More about Wallace
Northern Pacific Telephone Company building
Pose for a photo...
City Hall, now a fire hall
Travel Tips for Wallace
The Sprag Pole Inn - Murray, ID
Take local route 456 to Murray, ID (pop. 59) and have lunch at the Sprag Pole Inn. (A sprag pole is one that props something up.) It has good food, and a funky museum next door with an odd assortment of almost anything old.
The restaurant menus had information about the history of Murray, and we discovered that the local cemetery had some notable graves—Molly b’Damn and “Terrible Edith.” Molly was a Madam but she nursed sick miners during an epidemic, and died as a result. Edith, on the other hand, got her nickname because she was just plain mean to everyone.
Located 30 miles east of the Kingston exit off Interstate 90.
Silver Mining Boom Town Below I-90
"I-90 From Coeur d' Alenes to Montana"
Idaho's Silver Valley is located along I-90 and the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, between Lookout Pass and the Montana border. Wallace, population less than 1,000, was the wealthiest of the silver mining towns in Silver Valley, so it has the largest collection of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the entire town is listed as a Historic Landmark, which resulted in the construction of an unusual raised freeway system when I-90 was improved to modern standards. As a result, motorists can get off the freeway and spend easily from a couple of hours to a couple of days browsing the streets of peaceful Wallace. The town has not only an extraordinary historic downtown, but also a large collection of residences, some still in need of restoration, all within a beautiful mountain setting. The last time I drove through, the trees were in full autumn glory. In addition to the town, there are numerous ski resorts and mountaineering activities in the region. Mission Cataldo, which is about 10 miles west of Wallace on I-90, is also a great place to stop.
A Step Back in Time...
"A Place Where Time Stands Still"
As many of you already know, I am crazy about historical architecture and history in general. Wallace, Idaho is a truly remarkable piece of American history. Every original building in the town is listed on the National Historic Register. Sadly, many of the buildings are empty and the town is looking a little run-down in areas. But that doesn't stop this place from being one of the best living ghost towns I have ever seen.
Wallace was founded in the late 1800's, when gold and silver were discovered in the area. There are several active mines still in operation in the area, which makes for a lot of jewellery stores in town! There have been 3 movies filmed in Wallace over the years. The most recent (and interesting) one was Dante's Peak.
Town folk and business people are extremely friendly here. In fact, my only complaint is that the town really shuts down on Mondays and Tuesdays, which I find odd for a town that is heavily promoting tourism. We were there on a Monday in August, and at least 50% of the businesses we wanted to tour were closed, including two of the largest eating/drinking establishments in town. So my recommendation to anyone planning a visit to Wallace would be to visit between Wednesday and Sunday.
When the freeway was built above Wallace the old train station actually had to be moved about 1000 feet. Part of the deal when the freeway went in was that the gov't had to relocate the historic building and pay for its restoration. That sounds like a pretty good deal for the town, in my opinion. The train station is now a museum.
The library in Wallace is one of the few remaining Carnegie libraries in the U.S. It is in remarkably great condition.
"Monument at the Start of the Walking Tour"
This statue pays tribute to the founding father of Wallace, Idaho.
Wallace was destined to be yet another abandoned mining town. The town barely survived the big forest fire of 1910. However this situation appears to have preserved the town, because of its typical unchanged look the entire downtown area is listed on the US National Historic Register. To avoid having to tear down the railroad station building to make way for the I-90, it was moved by 200 feet. Wallace is also getting attention from the movie industry, it was the location for Heaven's Gate and Dante's Peak. Heaven and hell? Despite the bad weather it felt more like heaven to us, green hills and friendly folks.
Popular Hotels in Wallace
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Wallace Hotel Wallace
Address: 100 Front Street, P.O. Box 867, Wallace, Idaho, 83873, United States