Silver Linings: The Early Days of Idaho’s Silver Valley

Silver Linings: The Early Days of Idaho’s Silver Valley


THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM IS A
PRODUCTION OF KSPS PUBLIC TELEVISION AND IS
MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FRIENDS OF SEVEN. (NARRATOR) IT IS KNOWN
AS IDAHO’S SILVER VALLEY. IT COVER’S NO MORE THAN
30 MILES SQUARE. YET IT’S BOUNDARIES ENCOMPASS ALL
THE ELEMENTS THAT HAVE COME TO DEFINE THE
AMERICAN FRONTIER. AND THE RICHES EXPORTED FROM
ITS HEART. BUILT THE FOUNDATION FOR MODERN
CIVILIZATION IN THE INLAND NORTHWEST. ALONG THIS VALLEY FLOOR
INDUSTRIAL EMPIRES ROSE. THE RAILROADS. LOGGING.
AND ESPECIALLY MINING USHERED IN THE 20TH
CENTURY. AT ONE OF THE LAST OUTPOSTS OF THE
WESTERN FRONTIER. YET DESPITE ITS RUGGED AND
REMOTE LOCALE. A SILVER STAGE WAS SET HERE WHERE
STORYLINES OF LAW VERSES FRONTIER JUSTICE. BIG
BUSINESS VERSES LABOR. AND IMMIGRATION DISCRIMINATION
WOULD UNFOLD. WITHIN THESE DEEP VALLEY
WALLS THE PROSPECTORS . THE MINE OWNERS ALL PLAYED
A PART . AS DID THE REST OF THE COLORFUL ROGUES
THAT NOW PERSONIFY THE WEST. FAMED PINKERTON
DETECTIVES. MURDEROUS ASSASSINS. WILY STORE
KEEPS. AND MADAMS. ALL PLAYED THEIR ROLES
TO PERFECTION. THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THEIR
STORIES VARIES. BUT THE PLOT LINE THAT BROUGHT
THEM ALL TOGETHER. WAS ALWAYS THEIR SEARCH
FOR SILVER LININGS. IT WAS 1883 WHEN THE
WHISPERED STILLNESS OF THIS REMOTE TERRITORY
ROARED INTO A STAMPEDE. THAT’S WHEN IT BECAME
PUBLIC THAT ANDREW J. PRICHARD HAD STRUCK GOLD
ALONG A TRIBUTARY OF THE NORTH FORK OF THE COEUR
D’ALENE RIVER REFERRED TO AS EAGLE CREEK. (AIKEN) CERTAINLY HE IS
CREDITED WITH A LOT OF THE DISCOVERY. AND IT’S LIKE MOST RUSHES,
THEY TRIED TO KEEP IT SECRET, AND NOT TELL
ANYONE SO THAT THEY WOULDN’T HAVE ALL OF THIS
COMPETITION, BUT IT’S THE KIND OF SECRET THAT’S
ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP, AND SOMEONE WOULD SEND A
LETTER TO SOMEONE ELSE, AND THEN WORD WOULD
SPREAD, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN PEOPLE WOULD
COME IN HUGE NUMBERS. (NARRATOR) BEFORE THEIR
ARRIVAL. THE MOUNTAINS OF WHAT WOULD BECOME NORTH
IDAHO HAD REMAINED LARGELY UNTOUCHED. MOST WHO HAD VENTURED HERE
MERELY PASSED THROUGH. (AMONSON) BEFORE THE RUSH,
THE AREA WAS ESSENTIALLY UNINHABITED. THERE WAS A SMALL AH,
NUMBER OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE VICINITY OF THE
CATALDO MISSION WHICH AH, WAS CONSTRUCTED
BEGINNING 1850. (NARRATOR) COMPLETED IN
1857 THE MISSION WAS THE AREA’S ONLY BEACON OF
HUMAN INHABITATION OTHER THAN AN OCCASIONAL
PROSPECTOR’S CABIN. EVEN SO .THERE ARE REPORTS
THAT OTHERS HAD HAPPENED UPON GOLD IN THE AREA
EVEN BEFORE PRICHARD. WHILE THE MINERAL STRIKES
IN PIERCE . FLORENCE . IDAHO AND SILVER CITIES
WERE IN FULL SWING IN THE EARLY 1860’S . CAPTAIN
JOHN MULLEN WAS BUSY BUILDING A MILITARY WAGON
TRIAL FROM FORT WALLA WALLA ON THE COLUMBIA
TO FORT BENTON ALONG THE MISSOURI IN MONTANA. THIS 624-MILE TRAIL RAN
RIGHT THROUGH WHAT WOULD BECOME THE SILVER VALLEY
AND WAS NAMED AFTER ITS ARCHITECT . JOHN MULLEN. (AMONSON) THE STORY THERE
IS FAIRLY WELL DOCUMENTED. IT’S ONE OF HIS, THE
INDIVIDUALS FROM ONE OF HIS HUNTING PARTIES AH,
DID FIND GOLD, DID BRING IT BACK AND HE WAS
NOT WELL BELIEVED. AH, PEOPLE APPARENTLY HAD
ASSUMED THAT MAYBE HE HAD TRADED THIS GOLD FROM AH,
AH, OTHER PEOPLE COMING THROUGH, TRAPPERS OR,
OR OTHER INDIVIDUALS. SO THAT WAS DOWNPLAYED,
AND I THINK SOMEWHAT INTENTIONALLY BY JOHN
MULLEN, BECAUSE AH, HE DIDN’T WANT TO LOOSE HIS
ROAD BUILDING CREW TO A GOLD RUSH. STORIES LIKE THIS ARE NOT
UNCOMMON IN THE SILVER VALLEY AND HISTORY CAN
BE HARD TO SEPARATE FROM LORE. SO WHILE OTHERS MIGHT HAVE
FOUND GOLD IN THE AREA EARLIER . IN THE ANNALS
OF HISTORY IT IS ANDREW J. PRICHARD THAT IS CREDITED
AS THE MAN WHO FIRST STRUCK IT RICH IN
THE COEUR D’ALENE’S. IT CAN BE ARGUED THOUGH
THAT THOSE WHO EXPERIENCED THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT
FINANCIAL BENEFITS WORKED FOR THE RAILROADS. (BENNETT) THAT GOLD RUSH
IS AS IT WAS CALLED WAS GREATLY SPARKED BY THE
UNION PACIFIC RAILWAY WHICH HAD JUST COMPLETED
A NEW RAIL LINE INTO THE VERY SMALL TOWN
OF SPOKANE FALLS. AND TO PROMOTE PASSENGER
TRAFFIC ON THEIR NEW RAILROAD, THEY PLASTERED
THE WHOLE COUNTRY WITH, WITH THESE HANDBILLS
TOUTING THE GREAT RICHES OF THE FABULOUS GOLD FIND
IN THE CDA AND IT WORKED. 5000 PEOPLE WITHIN A YEAR
POURED INTO THE MURRAY PRITCHARD AREA. (NARRATOR) HOWEVER THE
RAILROAD DIDN’T REALLY GO TO WHERE THE RUSH WAS. ON THE MONTANA SIDE. THE
TRACKS ENDED AT BELKNAP. THIS LEFT STAMPEDERS WITH
MORE THAN 25 MILES OF ROAD LESS WILDERNESS AND A
MOUNTAIN PASS TO TRAVERSE. THE CLOSEST JUNCTION ON
THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS WAS AT RATHDRUM. THE OTHER MAJOR OBSTACLE
STAMPEDERS HAD TO CONTEND WITH WAS THE WEATHER. (AIKEN) WELL, IT’S
WINTERTIME AND THERE’S LOTS OF SNOW AND IT’S VERY
COLD, AND SO, TRAVEL IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT,
GETTING SUPPLIES IS VERY DIFFICULT, AND PROSPECTING
IS VERY DIFFICULT. (NARRATOR) BUT NO ONE
DARED WAIT FOR SPRING. FOR FEAR THAT THE BEST CLAIMS
WOULD ALREADY BE STAKED. SO THOUSANDS OF STAMPEDERS
OF ALL TYPES ENDURED THE ELEMENTS IN THE WINTER OF
1883- 84 TO PARTICIPATE IN ONE OF LAST GOLD
RUSHES IN THE WEST. (AMONSON) I THINK THERE
WAS A MIX OF PEOPLE, CERTAINLY A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO HAD MAYBE PARTICIPATED IN
EARLIER GOLD RUSHES. SO THEY HAD SOME IDEA WHAT
THEY WERE FACED WITH, AND THEY BROUGHT IN SUPPLIES. BUT I STILL THINK THERE
WERE QUITE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAME IN, WHAT
I CALL SOMEWHAT BLINDLY. THINKING THERE WAS GOING
TO BE SO MUCH GOLD THERE, I JUST HAVE TO HAVE ENOUGH
PACKED ON MY BACK TO, TO LAST ME FOR A FEW DAYS
UNTIL I GET RICH, AND THEN I’LL BE ABLE TO
SURVIVE JUST FINE. (NARRATOR) THE FIRST TOWN
SET UP SO PEOPLE COULD SURVIVE THE WINTER
WAS CALLED EAGLE CITY. (AIKEN) WELL, I COULD TELL
YOU THAT THE TERM “CITY” APPLIED TO ANY PLACE IN N. ID IS SOMEWHAT A MISNOMER,
AND CERTAINLY AN ATTEMPT TO EXAGGERATE ITS
IMPORTANCE AND WHAT WE’RE REALLY TALKING
ABOUT IS SOME TENTS. (NARRATOR) BESIDES THE
PROSPECTORS THE ELEMENTS NECESSARY TO CREATE A BOOM
TOWN ARE RELATIVELY FEW. (AIKEN) WHAT A MINING
DISTRICT REQUIRES IS SOMEONE THAT COOKS FOOD,
OR HAS FOOD AVAILABLE. AHM, GENERALLY WOMEN
WHO PRACTICE THE OLDEST PROFESSION ARE OFTEN EARLY
INHABITANTS, AND LAWYERS, WHO ALWAYS COME TO MINING
DISTRICTS, BECAUSE ONCE PEOPLE START PLACING
CLAIMS, THEN THEY HAVE ARGUMENTS ABOUT THEM. SO THOSE ARE THE, THE
ELEMENTS OF ALL MINING DISTRICTS. (NARRATOR) AND THEY WERE
ALL IN PLACE BY 1884 WHEN THE SPRING THAW REVEALS
THAT MOST OF THE GOLD DEPOSITS ALONG THE NEWLY
NAMED PRICHARD CREEK ARE BURIED AMONGST UPWARDS
OF 25 FEET OF GRAVEL. IT’S CALLED PLACER GOLD
BECAUSE IT’S NOT IN A VEIN . BUT MIXED IN FREELY WITH
LOOSE ROCK LIKE THAT FOUND ALONG RIVER AND
STREAM BEDS. THIS MEANS THAT MOST OF
THE MINING IN 1884 AND 1885 IS CARRIED OUT ALONG
TRIBUTARIES AND GULCHES. PLACER MINING IS HIGHLY
DEPENDENT ON THE USE OF WATER. A RESOURCE THAT WAS
OFTEN TOO ABUNDANT IN THE SPRING AND TOO
SCARCE BY SUMMER. (NARRATOR) NEVER THE LESS.
DREDGING BY HAND . WITH SLUICES AND EVEN WITH
HYDRAULICS THE PROSPECTORS STRIPPED AWAY SOIL IN
SEARCH OF THEIR FORTUNES. THE GOLD RUSH IN THE COEUR
D’ALENE’S WAS SHORT LIVED . BUT MORE THAN HALF A
MILLION DOLLARS OF THE PRECIOUS METAL WAS TAKEN
FROM THE DISTRICT IN 1884 AND 85 BY THE LABOR
INTENSE METHODS OF PLACER MINING. IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR
MURRAYVILLE. LATER KNOW AS MURRAY TO SURPASS EAGLE
CITY AS THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF TENTS
AND SHACKS THROWN UP ALONG PRICHARD CREEK. FOUNDED IN JANUARY OF
1884. BY LATE SUMMER ITS POPULATION HAD
BOOMED TO 25-HUNDRED. A VISITING JOURNALIST
WRITING FOR CENTURY MAGAZINE DESCRIBED ITS
HALF-MILE-LONG STREET. “A MORE UNATTRACTIVE PLACE
THAN MURRAY I HAVE SELDOM SEEN. STUMPS AND HALF-CHARRED
LOGS ENCUMBER THE STREETS, AND SERVE AS SEATS
FOR THE INHABITANTS. CHAIRS CAN ONLY BE FOUND
IN THE PRINCIPAL GAMBLING ESTABLISHMENTS. EVERY SECOND BUILDING IS A
DRINKING SALOON. THE TOWN WAS FULL OF MEN OUT OF
EMPLOYMENT AND OUT OF MONEY, WHO HUNG ABOUT THE
SALOONS AND CURSED THE CAMP IN ALL STYLES OF
PROFANITY KNOWN TO THE MINERS’ VOCABULARY.” (NARRATOR) UNSEEMLY OR NO.
MURRAY WAS NOW THE LARGEST TOWN IN THE
TERRITORIAL COUNTY. LESS THAN A YEAR LATER. IN
1885. IT WOULD BECOME THE SHOSHONE COUNTY SEAT AND
WOULD REMAIN SO FOR 13 YEARS. ITS HEYDAY WOULDN’T
HAVE LASTED THAT LONG IF DISGRUNTLED GOLD MINERS
HADN’T FOUND SOMETHING WITH AN EVEN
BRIGHTER SHINE. (BENNETT) MAY 22 1884,
JOHN CARTUN AND ALMEDA SEYMOUR WERE LEADING A
PACK TRAIN ON THE OLD TRAIL THAT WENT FROM THE
SOUTH FORK OF THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER UP CANYON
CREEK AS WE CALL IT NOW. THERE WAS NOTHING AT
BURK THERE WAS NOTHING AT WALLACE AT THE TIME. PROBABLY ONE OF THOSE PACK
ANIMALS KICKED LOOSE SOME ROCK AND WHEN THEY LOOKED
AT THE ROCK THEY SAW THIS REAL SHINY MATERIAL ON IT,
AND THAT SHINY MATERIAL IS THE MINERAL WE
CALL GALENA. AND GALENA IS THE
COMBINATION OF LEAD AND SULFUR AND IN THE COEUR
D’ALENE CARRIES A LITTLE BIT OF SILVER IN IT AND
THEY STAKED WHAT WAS CALLED THE TIGER MINE AND
THAT WAS THE FIRST LOAD MINE AS IT IS CALLED
WAS LOCATED IN THE COEUR D’ALENE DISTRICT. (NARRATOR) IT WAS THE
GLIMMER OF GALENA THAT PUT THE COEUR D’ALENE’S
PERMANENTLY ON THE MAP AS ONE OF RICHEST MINING
REGIONS IN AMERICA. (BENNETT) AFTER THE
INITIAL DISCOVERY BY CARTER SEYMOUR WITHIN A
YEAR ALMOST EVERY DEPOSIT THAT WOULD BECOME A MAJOR
MINE WITHIN THE CDA HAD BEEN DISCOVERED. THAT’S HOW GOOD
THESE GUYS WERE. THEY HAD NO FORMAL
GEOLOGIC TRAINING I AM A LITTLE EMBARRASSED TO SAY. UH, THEY FOUND LITERALLY
EVERY THING THAT WAS GOING TO BECOME A MAJOR MINE. (NARRATOR) WITH NAMES
LIKE THE POORMAN. STAR. STANDARD MAMMOTH. BLACK
BEAR. SAN FRANCISCO AND GEM OF THE MOUNTAINS.
THE QUARTZ LADEN MINERAL OUTCROPPINGS IN CANYON
CREEK WERE CLAIMED. AND THE TOWN OF BURKE WAS
OPENED FOR BUSINESS. NEAR MULLEN THE GOLD
HUNTER. MORNING AND EVENING MINES WERE STAKED. FURTHER DOWN THE TRIAL .
THE POLARIS CLAIM WHICH WOULD BECOME PART OF THE
HECLA MINING COMPANY WAS JOINED BY A CLAIM
CALLED THE YANKEE LODE. IT WOULD LATER BECOME PART
OF THE FAMOUS SUNSHINE MINE. SOON THERE WOULD BE NEARLY
A HUNDRED LOADS DISCOVERED IN THE DISTRICT. (NARRATOR) THE MOST
LEGENDARY OF THESE DISCOVERIES INVOLVED A MAN
AND A BURRO. AND IN THIS CASE THE DISCOVERY IS JUST
THE BEGINNING OF A TAIL WHERE FACT AND LORE
INTERTWINE AS A MATTER OF LAW. IN 1885. A THEN
63-YEAR-OLD NOAH KELLOGG WAS SCRAPING BY DOING
ODD JOBS AROUND MURRAY. (AMONSON) AND IN BETWEEN
ONE OF THOSE ODD JOB TIMES IN HIS LIFE HE DECIDED
HE WOULD LIKE TO DO SOME PROSPECTING. AND TALKED COOPER AND PECK
INTO GIVING HIM WHAT THEY CALL A GRUB STAKE. (NARRATOR) GRUB STAKES
WERE COMMON BETWEEN PROSPECTORS AND MERCHANT
TYPES SUCH AS COOPER AND PECK. FOR FRONTING THE SUPPLIES
THE INVESTORS WERE ENTITLED TO 50% OF ANY
CLAIM KELLOGG MADE. (AIKEN) COOPER AND PECK
DIDN’T THINK HE HAD MUCH OF A CHANCE OF FINDING
ANYTHING, BUT THE WHOLE TOWN HAD KEPT AWAKE FOR
SEVERAL EVENINGS AH, IN THE LAST MONTH OR SO
WITH THIS JACKASS WHO WAS BRAYING LOUDLY. AND SO THEY SAID TO HIM,
WE’LL GIVE YOU THIS GRUB STAKE IF YOU WILL TAKE
THIS JACKASS WITH YOU AND GET HIM OUT OF TOWN SO
WE CAN GET SOME SLEEP. (BENNETT) SUPPOSEDLY, UH,
NOAH WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND HE HEARD THE JACKASS
UH STANDING ON BRAYING ON THE THIS OUTCROP OF THIS
FABULOUS ORE BODY WHICH WAS SHINING IN THE SUN’S
LIGHT LIKE A MIRROR UH. IT’S AN OXIDIZED ORE BODY,
WHICH WASN’T SHINING AT ALL BUT NEVERTHELESS
A GREAT STORY. (AMONSON) I’M KIND OF
INCLINED TO THINK, WELL YES THE JACKASS WAS
INVOLVED, BUT AH, THE DEGREE OF INVOLVEMENT
IS STILL IN QUESTION. THERE’S ONLY TWO, TWO
LIVING THINGS THERE AH THAT CAME THERE FROM
MURRAY, DISCOUNTING THE NORMAL WILDLIFE. AND THAT WAS THE JACKASS
AND THAT WAS NOAH, SO, YOU KNOW, WHICHEVER, AND
THERE’S ONLY ONE OF THEM THAT COULD TALK. AND AS IT TURNED OUT NOAH
KELLOGG PROBABLY WISHED HE HADN’T TALKED EITHER. TELLING PEOPLE. EVEN IF
IT WERE IN JEST. THAT THE JACKASS HAD LED HIM TO
DISCOVER THE OUTCROPPING. COMPOUNDED THE SERIOUS
LEGAL PROBLEMS KELLOGG SOON FACED. (AIKEN) HE HAD ACTUALLY,
AHM, CLAIMED TWO CLAIMS, THE BUNKER HILL CLAIM
AND THE SULLIVAN CLAIM. AND HE HAD CLAIMED THEM
A HALF FOR HIMSELF AND A QUARTER EACH FOR HIS STORE
KEEPS, COOPER AND PECK, BUT WHEN HE GOT BACK TO
TOWN AND PEOPLE STARTED TO, HIS FRIENDS STARTED TO
TALK TO HIM, THEY DECIDED THAT MAYBE THAT WASN’T
SUCH A GOOD IDEA. SO AT LEAST ACCORDING
TO THE STORY, THEY ALL HUSTLED BACK AHM, TO, TO
WHAT BECAME WARDNER, AND CHANGED THE, THE CLAIMS TO
REFLECT A DIFFERENT SET OF OF FOLKS. THE FRIENDS WERE NAMED
PHIL O’ROURKE AND CORNELIUS SULLIVAN . AND
THEIR NAMES APPEARED ON THE SECOND SET OF CLAIMS
. WHICH CAME AS QUITE A SURPRISE TO COOPER AND PECK. (BENNETT) THEY SENT THEIR
OWN MAN BACK DOWN INTO THE AREA TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING
ON AND APPARENTLY THEY FOUND THE DISCARDED CLAIM
NOTICE AND I LIKE TO SAY IT’S NOT GOOD TO LITTER
NOW AND IT WASN’T GOOD TO LITTER BACK THEN. IT COULD GET
YOU IN TROUBLE. AND THEY IMMEDIATELY
SUED FOR A HALF OF THE OWNERSHIP OF THE OF
THE BUNKER HILL MINE. (NARRATOR) COOPER AND
PECK WERE AWARDED A HALF INTEREST IN THE BUNKER
HILL CLAIM AND A FOURTH OF THE SULLIVAN CLAIM. THUS IS THE BEGINNING OF
THE BIGGEST COMPANY TO EVER OPERATE IN
THE DISTRICT. ITS HEYDAY HAS PASSED .
BUT AT ITS PEAK THE BUNKER HILL WOULD EMPLOY ABOUT
2700 HUNDRED PEOPLE WITH A PAYROLL REACHING NEARLY
50-MILLION DOLLARS IN 1980. TO DATE THE BUNKER HILL
HAS TURNED OUT MORE THAN 40 MILLION TONS OF ORE
CONTAINING 3.2 MILLION TONS OF LEAD . 162 MILLION
OUNCES OF SILVER AND 1.3 MILLION TONS OF ZINC. NONE OF THE ORIGINAL CLAIM
HOLDERS WOULD STILL BE OWNERS BY THE TIME THE
BUNKER HILL BEGAN TO REACH ITS FULL POTENTIAL. THIS IS A COMMON SET OF
CIRCUMSTANCES IN A MINING DISTRICT. MINES WERE ALMOST ALWAYS
DEVELOPED BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE PROSPECTOR IS
BECAUSE WITH HARD ROCK MINING IT IS NOT ENOUGH
TO SIMPLY FILE A PROMISING CLAIM. YOU MUST ALSO HAVE
THE KNOWLEDGE. MEANS AND CUNNING TO DEVELOP IT. (BENNETT) KELLOGG AND
COOPER PECK AND ALL THE REST OF THE THEM THAT WERE
INVOLVED IN THE INITIAL DISCOVERY OF BUNKER HILL
MINE DID NOT HAVE THE KNOW HOW OR THE WHERE-WITH-ALL
OR THE CAPITOL TO ACTUALLY DEVELOP A MINE AS BIG AS
THE BUNKER HILL WAS GOING TO BE. UH THERE WAS ANOTHER GUY
INVOLVED IN IT NAMED JIM WARDNER. MURRAY WAS WHERE JAMES
WARDNER HAD CURRENTLY SET UP SHOP . BUT THE COEUR
D’ALENE WAS NOT THE FIRST MINING DISTRICT
HE’D BEEN IN. (AMONSON) WHEN HE CAME TO
WARDNER HE WAS PROPRIETOR OF A STORE, AND, BUT HE
WAS HE WAS SHARP, HE HAD A COMMAND OF YOU THE ALL
THE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON AROUND HIM
BESIDES THE REAL SPECIFIC STORY. (BENNETT) NOW JIM WARDNER
GOT IN TOO LATE TO THE ORIGINAL STAKING OF THE
BUNKER HILL AND THE, THE SULLIVAN CLAIM WHICH WAS
ACROSS THE CANYON FROM THE BUNKER HILL. BUT HE STAKED ALL THE
WATER RIGHTS IN MILO GULCH BECAUSE HE KNEW ANY MILL
THAT THEY BUILT TO PROCESS THE ORE OUT OF THE BUNKER
HILL WOULD HAVE TO USE WATER. IF HE OWNED ALL THE WATER
THEY WOULD HAVE TO CUT A DEAL WITH HIM AND THAT IS
EXACTLY THE WAY IT WORKED. NOW WARDNER WAS A LITTLE A
LITTLE DIFFERENT KIND OF A GUY. HE WAS A PROMOTER
PAR EXCELLENT. HE GOT GOVERNOR HAUSER
OVER IN MONTANA AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE TO INVEST
MONEY IN BUILDING A SMALL MILL IT WAS A 100 TON A
DAY MILL UP IN WARDNER GULCH TO PROCESS THE
ORIGINAL ORE THAT CAME OUT OF THE BUNKER HILL MINE. THEY TRIED TO RUN IT FOR
ABOUT TWO YEARS I BELIEVE AND FOUND OUT THAT EVEN,
EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD THE WILL POWER TO DO IT, THEY
DIDN’T HAVE THE RESOURCES. (NARRATOR) THE OPERATION
WAS SOLD IN 1887 TO PORTLAND FINANCIER SIMEON
REED FOR 650-THOUSAND DOLLARS. THE TRANSACTION BROKERED
BY WARDNER WAS CONSIDERED AN EXTRAVAGANT PRICE IN
ITS DAY AND MARKED THE FIRST TIME THAT BIG
OUTSIDE FINANCING HAD BEEN BROUGHT INTO THE VALLEY. ANOTHER EARLY ENTREPRENEUR
THAT CAME TO THE DISTRICT WAS A WOMAN NAMED
MAY ARKWRIGHT. (AIKEN) SHE WAS INCREDIBLY
GREGARIOUS, SHE HAD A REAL SKILL OF KNOWING
EVERYBODY’S NAME, BEING A SYMPATHETIC LISTENER, AND
ESPECIALLY AT A TIME WHEN THERE WEREN’T VERY MANY
WOMEN IN THE DISTRICT, AHM, PEOPLE WERE REALLY
INTERESTED IN HAVING SOMEONE LIKE THAT THAT
THEY COULD TALK TO, WHO WAS FRANKLY NOT
A PROSTITUTE. (NARRATOR) MAY WORKED AS
A COOK FIRST IN THE MURRAY AREA. THEN AFTER KELLOGG’S
DISCOVERY IN WARDNER. SHE TOILED AS LONG AND
HARD AS THE MINERS. YET SHE DIDN’T COUNT ON HARD
WORK ALONE TO GET AHEAD. IN 1886 WHEN SHE LEARNED
THAT A NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD WAS GOING TO
BE BROUGHT IN FROM THE MISSION DOCK AT CATALDO.
SHE SHREWDLY LEARNED WHERE THE TRACK WOULD BE LAID
AND THEN OPENED HER OWN EATERY CLOSE BY. IT WAS IN WARDNER
JUNCTION. NOW KNOWN AS KELLOGG AND SHE LEFT
A BIG IMPRESSION. (AIKEN) SHE WAS
A VERY LARGE WOMAN. AT SOME TIME IN HER
LIFE, SHE WEIGHED MORE THAN 200 LBS, AND SO
COOKING WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO HER, AND BY ALL
ACCOUNTS, SHE WAS A TERRIFIC COOK, AND
MINERS WERE WILL TO PAY A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF
MONEY TO HAVE HER MEALS, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU WERE
MINING AND PROSPECTING, WHAT YOU DIDN’T WANT TO
DO WAS SPEND TIME COOKING. AND SO, SHE WAS ABLE TO
MAKE A GOOD LIVING ON RUNNING THIS,
THIS RESTAURANT. AND ONE OF THE CUSTOMERS
AT THE RESTAURANT WAS AL HUTTON, WHO WAS
A TRAIN ENGINEER. AND HE WOULD COME AND
EAT, FELL IN LOVE AND GOT MARRIED. (NARRATOR) FOR MOST THAT
WOULD BE ENOUGH TO QUALIFY AS A HAPPY ENDING. BUT
THIS IS NOT THE LAST TIME WE’LL HEAR ABOUT WHAT FATE
HAD IN STORE FOR MAY AND LEVI HUTTON. (NARRATOR) MAGGIE HALL
IS ANOTHER WOMAN WHO HAS BECOME PART OF THE
VALLEY’S LEGEND AND LORE. BUT SHE IS BETTER KNOWN BY
THE NAME OF MOLLY B’ DAMN. THIS PHOTO PURPORTED TO
BE OF HER. CONCEALS THE HARDSHIPS OF
HER YOUNG LIFE. SHE EMIGRATED FROM IRELAND
TO NEW YORK WHERE SHE MARRIED A MAN THAT SOLD
HER FAVORS AS A MEANS OF REVENUE. SHE ARRIVED THROUGH A
SNOW STORM, AND ON HER ROUTE, ON ROUTE, BETWEEN
THOMPSON FALLS AND MURRAY SHE PICKED UP A MOTHER AND
A CHILD WRAPPED THEM IN HER FUR COAT AND BROUGHT
THEM ON INTO MURRAY. SO SHE WAS THE HERO THE
MINUTE SHE GOT TO MURRAY. SHE RODE UP IN FRONT OF
THE SALOON, WHICH PHIL O’ROURKE WAS THE BAR
TENDER SHE ANNOUNCED THAT HER NAME WAS MOLLY
VERDONE, AND SHE WAS TAKING CABIN #1. AND HE SAID MOLLY BE DAMN,
AND THAT’S WHERE SHE GOT THE NAME MOLLY BE DAM,
BECAUSE HE COULDN’T PRONOUNCE VERDONE. (NARRATOR) MOLLY BECAME
THE HEAD MADAME OF THE DISTRICT. AND APPARENTLY
WAS A FIGURE THAT COULD TURN TIN TO GOLD. MOLLY WOULD COME INTO
TOWN, NOT WALLACE, BUT INTO MURRAY, AND SHE’D SAY
THAT SHE HAD A LONG HOT DRIVE, AND THAT
SHE NEEDED A BATH. I’D BE HAPPY TO GET INTO
THE TUB, BUT I DON’T WANT TO SIT ON TIN. IF YOU’LL THROW SOME GOLD
DUST, I’LL BE HAPPY TO GET IN. SO THE MINERS WOULD ALL
THROUGH JUNKS OF GOLD DUST OR HANDFULLS OF GOLD DUST
INTO THE TUB AND SHE WOULD LITERALLY DISROBE AND GET
INTO THE TUB AND TAKE A BATH, TEASING THE MINERS
ALL ALONG, FLASHING THEM AS THEY WENT BY, AND
OFFERING TO WASH HER BACK AND SORT THINGS. (NARRATOR) MOLLY’S IS ONE
OF THE FEW NAMES KNOWN OF THE HUNDREDS OF HER
COUNTERPARTS WHO CAME TO THE DISTRICT. OUT NUMBERED ABOUT TWO
HUNDRED TO ONE PROSTITUTES WERE AN INTEGRAL PART
OF THIS OTHERWISE BRUTAL MASCULINE WORLD. THEY WERE THE FIRST
PIONEER WOMEN, THEY WERE THE WOMEN WHO HAD THE GUTS
TO COME INTO THESE MINING CAMPS AND, AND TAKE
CARE OF PEOPLE AND PUT THEMSELVES OUT. AND THEY DIDN’T REALLY, I
THINK A LOT OF THEM, THEY DIDN’T COME TO TOWN JUST
TO BE PROSTITUTES, THEY WERE LOOKING FOR HUSBANDS. THAT DIDN’T NECESSARILY
ALWAYS HAPPEN. THEY HAD TO MAKE A LIVING,
SOME OF THEM HAD CHILDREN TO FEED, SOME OF THEM WERE
DESTITUTE, THEY REALLY DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF
CHOICES IN THOSE DAYS. WOMEN’S RIGHTS WEREN’T
WHAT THEY ARE TODAY. (NARRATOR) YET EVEN FROM
THE FRINGES WOMEN LIKE MOLLY MADE AN INDELIBLE
MARK ON HISTORY. IT MAY BE JUST LEGEND BUT
SHE IS REMEMBERED AS A WOMAN WITH A CARING
IF NOT GOLDEN HEART. SHE DIED OF SMALL POX,
SHE WENT OUT AND TOOK CARE OF THE MINERS WHO WERE
AILING, AND SHE WENT OUT INTO THE HILLS AND INTO
THE GOLD FIELDS AND TOOK CARE OF THEM AND CONTACTED
THE DISEASE HERSELF. TO THIS DAY, SHE’S SO
POPULAR THAT SOMEBODY EVEN PUTS FLOWERS ON
HER GRAVE YEARLY. (HART) THAT’S ONE OF THE
AMAZING THINGS ABOUT THE WEST, IS THAT IT WAS
INCREDIBLY DIVERSE. AND THESE PLACES WERE MORE
DIVERSE THEN THAN THEY ARE TODAY. (AMONSON) THERE WERE SOME
INDIVIDUALS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ANCESTRY THAT
WERE ACCEPTED IN THIS AREA. NOT VERY MANY, BUT THERE
WERE SOME, AND SOME YOU KNOW, LIVED HERE AND I
DON’T THINK THEY WERE BOTHERED. THERE WERE A HANDFUL OF I
BELIEVE JEWISH PEOPLE IN HERE AND I DON’T THINK
THEY WERE BOTHERED. (NARRATOR) THEY MAY NOT
HAVE BEEN BOTHERED .BUT THERE WAS DEFINITELY
A HIERARCHY AMONG THE VARIOUS ETHNIC GROUPS
PRESENT IN THE DISTRICT. (AMONSON) FOR INSTANCE,
IF A PERSON WAS A SCANDINAVIAN, YOU WERE
SOMEWHERE DOWN ON, ON THE LIST, BUT YOU WEREN’T
NEAR THE BOTTOM. AND ITALIANS WERE, WERE
FAIRLY CLOSE TO THE BOTTOM PEOPLE OF ENGLISH DESCENT
AND MAYBE EVEN GERMAN DESCENT WERE UP FAIRLY
CLOSE TO THE TOP. (BENNETT) AND JUST LIKE
THE OLD STORIES YOU READ ABOUT ANY OF THE FIRST
WAVES OF PEOPLE THAT CAME FROM EUROPE INTO THIS
COUNTRY UH THEY WERE MISTREATED THE SAME
AS ANYONE ELSE AND THE ITALIANS WERE
A GOOD EXAMPLE. UH WE HAVE NEWSPAPER
CLIPPINGS OF FATALITIES AND THERE WERE A NUMBER
OF THEM IN THE EARLY DAY MINES AND WHICH THEY WOULD
NEVER EVEN SAY THE GUYS NAME THEY’S SAY A DEGO
FELL DOWN THE SHAFT AT THE STANDARD MAMMOTH
MINE AND WAS KILLED. AND THEY NEVER GAVE HIS
MINE OR ANYTHING AND THAT’S HOW LITTLE PEOPLE
THOUGHT OF THE NEW GROUPS THAT WERE COMING
INTO THE COUNTRY. SO THERE WAS UH THERE WAS
A FAIR AMOUNT OF PREJUDICE AGAINST PEOPLE, CERTAINLY
AGAINST THE CHINESE UH, UH THEY WERE BROUGHT OVER TO
WORK ON THE RAILROADS AND DID A GREAT JOB ON THAT
BUT THEY WERE TOTALLY DISLIKED IN THE CDA. THERE WERE VERY FEW
OF THEM THAT WERE EVER ALLOWED TO LIVE IN THE
CDA DISTRICT, THEY WERE ESSENTIALLY RUN
OUT OF TOWN. AND I KNOW OF NO CASE
THAT THEY ACTUALLY WORKED UNDERGROUND IN THE CDA. (NARRATOR) IN THE SPRING
OF 1884 LOCAL NEWSPAPER MAN ADAM AULBACH
EXPRESSED THIS SENTIMENT. IN HIS PAPER THE COEUR
D’ALENE SUN. “THIS CAMP, LIKE LEADVILLE, WILL NEVER
FEEL THE CURSE OF CHEAP COOLIE LABOR . IF HE
INSISTS ON COMING , HOWEVER, LET HIM BRING A
ROAST HOG, PLENTY OF FIRE CRACKERS AND COLORED PAPER
AND ALL THE ESSENTIALS OF A FIRST CLASS
CHINESE FUNERAL. HE NEEDN’T BOTHER
TO BRING THE CORPSE. IT WILL BE IN READINESS.” (BENNETT) WELL MINING EVEN
BACK IN THOSE DAYS WAS WAS CONSIDERED A REASONABLY
WELL PAID OCCUPATION. WE TALK ABOUT $3, $3.50 A
DAY DOESN’T SEEM LIKE VERY GOOD WAGES TO US AND THOSE
WERE SIX OR SEVEN DAY A WEEK WAGES. UH BUT IT WAS A GOOD
LIVING COMPARED TO WHAT OTHER LABORERS COULD MAKE
ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY AT THE TIME. (NARRATOR) BUT TO EARN
THOSE WAGES THEY FACED ONE OF .IF NOT THE MOST
DANGEROUS JOB IN THE COUNTRY. (BENNETT) WORKING
UNDERGROUND WAS VERY VERY DANGEROUS. THERE WAS NO SAFETY
EQUIPMENT IN THOSE DAYS. UH NOT NECESSARILY BY
DESIGN OF THE COMPANY THERE WAS JUST NO
SAFETY EQUIPMENT. WE HAD NO STEEL TOED
BOOTS, WE HAD NO HARD HATS, WE HAD NO
SAFETY LAMPS. UH, THERE’S LOTS OF
UNDERGROUND PICTURES OF THE MINERS WITH THEIR
CANDLES AND CANDLESTICK HOLDERS STUCK IN THE WALL
AND THAT WAS THE ONLY LIGHT THAT THEY
HAD TO WORK BY. (NARRATOR) IN THIS WORLD
OF TWILIGHT THEY WOULD LABOR TO THE RHYTHM OF
SLEDGE HAMMERS HITTING HAND STEELS AT 40
BEATS PER MINUTE. WHEN ONE MAN HELD THE
STEEL WHILE ANOTHER HAMMERED .IT WAS
CALLED DOUBLE JACKING. A MAN PERFORMING BOTH
TASKS WAS CALLED A SINGLE JACK. (BENNETT) HOW FAST HOW
DEEP A HOLE CAN YOU DRILL IN HOW SHORT A PERIOD OF
TIME AND THEY BECAME VERY, VERY GOOD AT THIS. BUT IT WAS AN INDICATION
OF HOW DANGEROUS THE WORK WAS. VENTILATION UNDERGROUND
WAS VERY, VERY POOR. THERE WAS NO FORCED
VENTILATION SYSTEM LIKE THERE IS IN MODERN
MINING TODAY. UH THE BLASTING POWDER
WHEN IT WOULD BE DISCHARGED WAS VERY TRICKY
STUFF TO WORK WITH AND WHEN NITROGLYCERIN WAS
DEVELOPED AND THEY MADE THE ORIGINAL DYNAMITE IT
WAS ALSO VERY TRICKY STUFF TO WORK WITH AND
VERY DANGEROUS. (NARRATOR) AT THE TURN
OF THE CENTURY AUTOMATED DRILLS CALLED WIDOW MAKERS
REPLACED HAND DRILLING. THEY WERE FASTER
. BUT NOT SAFER. (BENNETT) THOSE DRILLS
DRILLED DRY AS WE CALLED IT. THERE WAS NO LUBRICANT
THAT WENT DOWN THE BIT. TODAY A MODERN DRILL THAT
IS USED UNDERGROUND HAS A HOLLOW STEM AND WATER
IS FORCED DOWN THAT STEM LUBRICATES THE BIT AND
WASHES THE CUTTINGS OUT OF THE HOLE AND ALSO
KEEPS THE DUST DOWN TREMENDOUSLY. WELL DRILLING WITH A
SOLID DRILL GENERATED HUGE AMOUNTS OF DUST. THE VEINS IN THE CDA ARE
HOSTED IN MANY CASES IN A ROCK WE CALL QUARTZITE. IT IS A VERY PURE FORM
OF SILICON AND OXYGEN. SILICON DIOXIDE. OR QUARTZ. AND IT GENERATED ALL THIS
FINE DUST, WHICH CAUSED SILICOSIS. SO EMPHYSEMA SILICOSIS
WERE SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS AT THE BEGINNING
OF AUTOMATED DRILLING. (NARRATOR) EXCEPT FOR THE
LONGEST DAYS IN SUMMER . THE MINEWORKER GOES TO
WORK BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP AND COMES HOME AFTER
THE SUN GOES DOWN. IN THEIR WORLD OF
SHADOWS . THEY OFTEN FEEL OVERWORKED .SUPPRESSED AND
EVEN ABUSED BY THE OWNERS. (BENNETT) IF YOU GOT HURT,
TOO BAD, YOU WERE OUT OF BUSINESS. NO HEALTH INSURANCE, NONE
OF THE THINGS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED TODAY. UH IF YOU, YOU KNOW
WERE OUT OF PUT OUT OF COMMISSION IN MINING
THAT WAS IT, YOU WERE ESSENTIALLY ON THE DOLE
AND SO WAS YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. (NARRATOR) IN 1890 THE
US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALLY CLOSES THE
AMERICAN FRONTIER. BY THEN THERE IS A CLEAR
DIVISION IN THE VALLEY BETWEEN MINE OWNERS
AND MINE WORKERS. EACH GROUP HAS ITS
OWN LOOSE FORMS OF ORGANIZATION THAT WILL
SOON COME TO BLOWS. (NELSON) THE MINE WORKERS
WERE ORGANIZING IN THEIR UNIONS, HAD BEEN
ORGANIZING FOR 20 YEARS, AND FINALLY CAME TO A
POINT WHERE THE INTERESTS OF THE OUTSIDE INVESTORS
AND THE INTERESTS OF THE MINE WORKERS WERE SO
DIVERGENT THEY EXPLODED. (AIKEN) THERE ARE SEVERAL
ISSUES THAT SPARKED THIS DISPUTE. ONE IS A HUGE
TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, WHEN YOU THINK HISTORICALLY,
ANYTIME THERE’S A CHANGE IN TECHNOLOGY THAT CREATES
STRESS FOR BOTH WORKERS AND MANAGEMENT. AND IN MINING IN THE
1890S, THERE’S JUST THIS TIDAL WAVE OF
TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE WHERE THE WORK GOES FROM BEING
DONE PRIMARILY BY HAND TO BEING DONE PRIMARILY WITH
MACHINES, WITH PEOPLE OPERATING THEM. AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS,
FEWER PEOPLE ARE NEEDED TO DO CERTAIN KINDS OF, OF
WORK, AND THAT CAUSES STRESS, AND TRADITIONAL
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN WAGES EARNED AND WORK DONE
NO LONGER MAKE ANY SENSE. (NARRATOR) EVERYDAY
THOUSANDS OF MEN GO UNDERGROUND IN
THE SILVER VALLEY. THE MINERS ARE PAID THREE
DOLLARS A DAY FOR THEIR LABOR AND THE MUCKERS
MAKE 2.50 A DAY. (AIKEN) A MINER IS THE
PERSON WHO DROVE THE HOLE, AND THEN PUTS THE POWDER
IN, AND THE OTHER FOLKS ARE CALLED MUCKERS, THE
PEOPLE THAT SHOVEL OUT THE ORE. AND WHEN YOU HAVE NEW
TECHNOLOGY, IT TAKES FEWER OF THE MINERS AND MORE
OF THE MUCKERS, AND SO COMPANIES HOPED THAT THEY
COULD PAY THE MUCKERS LESS MONEY. MANY OF THE MUCKERS WERE
ACTUALLY DISPLACED MINERS WHO OBJECTED TO THE
DECREASE IN THEIR STATUS. (NARRATOR) IN 1891 THE
VARIOUS LOCAL MINERS’ UNIONS ARE ABLE TO WIN A
50-CENT PAY RAISE AT ALL THE MINES IN THE COEUR
D’ALENE DISTRICT BUT ONE. THE BUNKER HILL ALONE HELD
OUT UNTIL AUGUST WHEN IT TOO RELENTED TO THE
UNIFORMED UNDERGROUND PAY INCREASE. IT IS A VICTORY FOR
THE WORKERS AND THEIR FLEDGLING UNIONS THAT
WILL BE SHORT LIVED. ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY
AN ECONOMIC PANIC IS BREWING. (BENNETT) AND OF ALL THE
PANICS THEY’VE HAD UP UNTIL THEN IT WAS
THE MOST SEVERE. UH THE MINES WERE CLOSED. UH FACTORIES ALL OVER
THE COUNTRY WERE CLOSING. AGRICULTURE WAS IN
DIRE, DIRE STRAIGHTS. COMMODITY PRICES WENT
TO NEXT TO NOTHING. TYPICAL OF WHAT HAPPENS
DURING A DEPRESSION. (NARRATOR) ON NEW YEARS
DAY OF 1892 THE MINE OWNERS SHUT DOWN ALL
OPERATIONS DUE TO DISPUTES OVER SHIPPING COSTS
WITH THE RAILROADS. THE MINES REMAIN CLOSED
THE ENTIRE WINTER . LEAVING MINERS AND THEIR
FAMILIES WITH NO MEANS OF SUPPORT. WHEN THE OWNERS DECIDED TO
REOPEN THE MINES THE WAGE OFFERED IS BACK DOWN AT
THREE DOLLARS PER TEN-HOUR DAY. MOST MINERS REFUSE
TO RETURN TO WORK. THEY SUSPECT THAT THE
CLOSURE HAD LESS TO DO WITH RAILROAD COSTS AND
FAILING METAL PRICES THAN IT DID WITH FORCING THEM
TO ACCEPT REDUCED WAGES. THE MINERS ARE ALREADY
DOCKED FOR MEDICAL CARE . LOST AND BROKEN EQUIPMENT
. AND HOUSING AT COMPANY BEANERIES. IN RESPONSE . THE OWNERS
BRING IN STRIKE BREAKERS. THEY ARE MOSTLY IMMIGRANTS
TRAINED IN FROM OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT WHO HAVE
NO IDEA THAT THEY ARE STEPPING ONTO
A BATTLE FIELD. BY JULY BOTH SIDES HAVE
BROUGHT IN WEAPONS . ARMED GUARDS ARE POSTED BEHIND
BARRICADES AT THE LARGER MINES IN BURKE CANYON
TO PROTECT THE NON-UNION MINERS. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE
TWO GROUPS HAS CONTINUED TO DETERIORATE . BUT
UNBEKNOWNST TO THE MINERS . THE OWNERS ARE STILL
INFORMED ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON WITHIN
THE UNIONS. THE NEWLY FORMED MINE
OWNERS PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION HAS BROUGHT
IN MEMBERS OF THE FAMED PINKERTON DETECTIVES TO
INFILTRATE THE UNIONS AND ACT AS SPIES. (BENNETT) THE MOST
SUCCESSFUL ONE OF ALL THE PINKERTON DETECTIVES WAS A
MAN NAMED CHARLES SERINGO. AND SERINGO WAS SO GOOD
AT HIS JOB HE BECAME THE SECRETARY OF
THE GEM UNION. AND OF COURSE WAS SENDING
MESSAGES RIGHT BACK TO THE MINE OWNERS ABOUT
EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING ON IN THE UNION IN GEM IN
THAT WHOLE AREA OF BURKE WHICH WAS A MAJOR, MAJOR
MINING AREA AT THIS TIME. THE THING THAT TOUCHED OFF
THE WAR OF 1892 WAS THAT THE GEM UNION DISCOVERED
THAT CHARLES SERINGO WAS A PINKERTON DETECTIVE. SERINGO WAS STAYING IN A
BOARDING HOUSE IN GEM AT THE TIME AND HE HAD CUT A
TRAP DOOR UNDER HIS IN THE FLOOR UNDER THE BED IN HIS
BOARDING HOUSE AND WHEN HE HEARD THE UNION GUYS
COMING TO GET HIM HE GOT DOWN, WENT THROUGH THE
TRAP DOOR, CRAWLED OUT UNDER THE BOARD SIDEWALKS
IN GEM AND ESCAPED INTO THE WOODS. THE GEM MINE WAS BEING
OPERATED BY SCABS AT THE TIME. IN FURY, THEY WENT DOWN
TO THE GEM MINE AND OPENED FIRE ON THE WORKERS
AT THE TIME. THERE A COUPLE OF PEOPLE
THAT WERE KILLED IN THE ENSUING GUNFIRE. (NARRATOR) THE FIGHTING
ESCALATED AND SPREAD TO THE FRISCO MINE WHERE THE
MINERS DEMONSTRATED THEIR SKILLS WITH EXPLOSIVES. AT THE GEM MILL GUNPLAY
KILLED THREE UNION MEN AND TWO ON THE OWNER’S SIDE. AT THE FRISCO MINE ONE MAN
ON THE OWNER’S SIDE DIED BEFORE A WHITE FLAG WAS
WAVED OVER THE RUBBLE OF THE ONCE FOUR STORY MILL. FROM THERE MORE THAN 500
ARMED MINERS SURROUNDED MINES LIKE THE BUNKER HILL
AND CONVINCED OWNERS TO SEND THEIR NON UNION
WORKERS OUT OF THE DISTRICT WITHIN 48-HOURS. THE SHORT LIVED BATTLE
LASTED ONLY A WEEKEND BUT THE AFTERMATH RESONATES
THROUGH HISTORY. (BENNETT) WHAT HAPPENED AS
A RESULT OF THAT WAS THE MINE OWNERS ASSOCIATION
CALLED THE GOVERNOR OF IDAHO AND EXPLAINED THE
SITUATION AND ASKED TO HAVE THE STATE MILITIA
BROUGHT UP FROM BOISE TO QUELL THE PROBLEM. (NARRATOR) IDAHO HAD JUST
BECOME A STATE IN 1890 AND ITS GOVERNOR NORMAN B. WILLEY WASTED NO TIME
IN TURNING TO PRESIDENT HARRISON TO HELP ANSWER
THE MINE OWNERS’ PLEAS FOR RESCUE. FOUR COMPANIES OF THE
FOURTH INFANTRY STATIONED AT FORT SHERMAN WERE
THE FIRST ON THE MOVE. ON JULY 14TH GOVERNOR
WILLEY DECLARED MARTIAL LAW IN SHOSHONE COUNTY
. THERE BY BYPASSING THE AUTHORITY OF THOSE COUNTY
OFFICIALS WHO MIGHT BE SYMPATHETIC TO THE UNIONS. IN ALL .15-HUNDRED FEDERAL
AND STATE TROOPS MARCHED WITHOUT RESISTANCE
INTO THE DISTRICT. THEY ROUNDED UP 600
MEN AND PLACED THEM IN HURRIEDLY CONSTRUCTED
HOLDING AREAS IN WALLACE AND WARDER. MANY SCHOLARS SAY THAT
CONCENTRATION CAMPS BEGAN WITH THE BOAR WAR IN
1905 BUT SOME DISAGREE. (NELSON) THEY STARTED IN 1892,
RIGHT HERE IN NORTHERN ID. AND BASICALLY THE
CONCENTRATION CAMP WAS SOME WOODEN BUILDING,
WIRES AND PLANK FENCES AROUND THAT, PATROLLED
BY SOLDIERS AND THEY JUST COLLECTED ALL THE MINERS
THAT THEY POSSIBLY COULD THAT DIDN’T HAVE AN EXCUSE
WHERE THEY WERE THE DAY OF THE EXPLOSION AND THE
THREW THEM IN THE BULLPEN AND, AND, AND THEN
KEPT THEM THERE. AND THEN WHAT THEY DID WAS
IN ORDER TO TRY TO BREAK THE UNION, THEY WENT
AFTER THE LEADERS. (NARRATOR) THE STATE OF
MARSHALL LAW LASTED FOR FOUR MONTHS AND OF THE
600 INCARCERATED . ONLY 17 WERE EVER CONVICTED
OF ANY CRIME. (BENNETT) THING THAT
HAPPENED AS A RESULT OF THE 1892 WAR LABOR WAR AS
IT’S CALLED WAS THAT ALL OF THESE LITTLE UNIONS GOT
TOGETHER AND FORMED WHAT WOULD BECOME KNOWN AS
THE WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS. THIS WAS HEADQUARTERED OUT
OF COLORADO AND FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL OF THESE
UNIONS OF BUTTE MONTANA AND CDA ID AND LEADVILLE
CO AND ALL THE CITIES IN UTAH THAT HAD MINES BECAME
ONE UNIT WITH WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS. THEY HAD MONEY, THEY
HAD POWER, THEY HAD NO WHERE-WITH-ALL AND THEY
WOULD GIVE THE MINE OWNERS ASSOCIATION A RUN
FOR THEIR MONEY. (NARRATOR) THERE IS NO DENYING
THAT THOSE FIRST TO ARRIVE IN THE DISTRICT WERE
VERY INDEPENDENT. (HART) IF THEY HAD A MULE,
THEY HAD A PAN, AND NOT MUCH ELSE. I MEAN, THEY WERE NOT
TRAVELING WITH FAMILY, THEY WERE
TRAVELING, ALONE. THEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME
OUT IN THE WILDERNESS BY THEMSELVES, THEY DIDN’T
NEED ANY SERVICES, AH, TO SPEAK OF. ALL THEY NEEDED TO DO
WAS TO BE ABLE TO GET RE-OUTFITTED ONCE IN A
WHILE, AND THAT WAS ABOUT IT. (NARRATOR) WHERE THEY
RE-OUTFITTED AND RECREATED WERE ROUGH PLACES THAT
ATTRACTED KINDRED SPIRITS. SOME OF THE RISK TAKERS
ATTACKED TO COEUR D’ALENE’S WERE ALREADY
ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING LEGENDS OF THE WEST. (DOLPH) WYATT ERP AND HIS
BROTHER AND HIS WIFE, HIS 3RD WIFE JOSEPHINE, CAME
FROM AH, TEXAS, ALL THE WAY UP HERE. AND ON THE WAY THEY
STOPPED IN MISSOULA, AND THAT’S WHERE HIS THEIR
BROTHER, HIS BROTHER JAMES LIVED. (NARRATOR) THE EARP
BROTHERS ARRIVED EARLY AND ESTABLISHED THE WHITE
ELEPHANT SALOON. (DOLPH) AND THEY HAD THEIR
OWN DANCE HALL LATER, AND THINGS, AND THEY
HAD A LOT OF CLAIMS. (NARRATOR) ANOTHER FAMOUS
PERSONALITY TO PASS THROUGH WAS CALAMITY JANE. (AMONSON) NOW THERE’S A
FAIRLY WELL DOCUMENTED AH, AH, REFERENCE TO THE FACT
THAT SHE HAD MET MOLLY BE DAM ON THE TRAIN
ON THE WAY IN. AND AH, AT THAT TIME SHE
DECIDED THAT SHE DIDN’T WANT THAT PARTICULAR
COMPETITION, AND SO SHE PROCEEDED ON THE SPOKANE
FALLS AND MOLLY BE DAM CAME OVER THE HILL
00:55:08;08 AH, TO MURRY, AND THEN AT SOME LATER
TIME, AH, CALAMITY JANE CAME IN FROM
SPOKANE FALLS. AND I THINK THAT’S
PROBABLY A BELIEVABLE ACCOUNT. (NARRATOR) THE STORY
IS THAT CALAMITY JANE ESCORTED SOME DANCE HALL
GIRLS TO TOWN FOR A SHOW. WHICH IS PLAUSIBLE BECAUSE
THE SALOONS WERE THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY. (AMONSON) THE TERM
FUNCTIONAL ALCOHOLIC WAS PROBABLY CONSIDERED A NO
BRAINER IN THOSE DAYS SO, MY APOLOGIES TO ALCOHOL
ANONYMOUS, BUT IT WAS JUST A MUCH A PART OF DAILY
LIFE AS EATING BREAKFAST OR DINNER OR
ANYTHING ELSE. (NARRATOR) THOUGH DRINKING
ALWAYS SEEMED TO BE A PART OF MINING TOWNS . ONCE THE
HARD ROCK MINING STARTED IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR
THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY TO BROADEN. (AIKEN) THESE ARE SKILLED
WORKERS THAT HAVE A REAL, AHM, CAMARADERIE AND A
STREET ACCORD BECAUSE OF THE RISK THEY TAKE ON
A, ON A DAILY BASIS. YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT THE
MINER NEXT TO YOU IS DOING HIS JOB CAPABABLY, THAT
THE PERSON THAT PUT THE TIMBER IN DID THAT
CORRECTLY, THAT THE OTHER PERSON THAT’S DOING THE
EXPLOSIVES IS GOING TO BE DOING THE RIGHT THING. BECAUSE YOUR VERY LIFE
DEPENDS ON THE SKILL OF THAT OTHER PERSON. SO THERE’S A LOT OF CLOSE
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MINERS. (NARRATOR) AND THESE
RELATIONSHIPS CARRIED OVER FROM THE MINES REFLECTING
ON THE WAY THEY AND THEIR FAMILIES LIVED IN
THEIR COMMUNITIES. (AIKEN) BEING THE WIFE OF
A MINER OR THE MOTHER OF MINER OR THE SISTER OF A
MINER REQUIRES A SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON AS WELL. BECAUSE EVERYDAY YOU SAY
GOODBYE TO THEM, AND THEY MAY NOT BE COMING BACK. THERE AREN’T VERY MANY
OCCUPATIONS THAT ARE LIKE THAT, AND ALSO MINING
COMMUNITIES ARE SO ISOLATED, EVERYBODY’S
IN THE SAME SITUATION. SO YOU HAVE A MUCH
MORE CLOSE-KNIT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP, I THINK,
AMONG AHM, WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN, AS WELL AS
AMONG MINERS THEMSELVES. (NARRATOR) SO THOUGH THEY
WERE ISOLATED THEY DID WORK HARD AT HAVING ALL
THE TRAPPINGS OF SOCIETY. (HART) YOU DID HAVE
SCHOOLS, YOU DID HAVE CHURCHES, AHM, ALL OF
THOSE INSTITUTIONS WERE WELL ESTABLISHED IN THE
EAST, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO CAME AT LEAST
FROM THE MIDWEST OR THE EAST. THEY WERE BRINING THEIR
INSTITUTIONS WITH THEM. AHM, AND AH, I THINK THAT
ALL HAPPENED VERY QUICKLY. (AIKEN) SO LITTLE
COMMUNITIES ARE ESTABLISHED IN
THE SILVER VALLEY. AND MINING COMPANIES
ATTEMPT TO FOSTER THAT. BECAUSE THEY THINK THE
STRONGER COMMUNITY TIES ARE THEN THE MORE STABLE
THE WORKFORCE WILL WILL BE. (NARRATOR) WALLACE
BECAME THE HUB OF THESE COMMUNITIES AS IT GREW
INTO THE FINANCIAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE MINES. BY 1903 IT EVEN RATED
A VISIT FROM THEODORE ROOSEVELT WHILE HE
CAMPAIGNED FOR REELECTION TO THE WHITE HOUSE. (NELSON) THE MINING THAT
PLACE WAS TAKING PLACE IN THE COEUR D’ALENE, MADE IT
ONE OF THE MOST POPULATED AND RICHEST PLACES IN
THE WEST IN THE 1890S. YOU KNOW, THERE WEREN’T
BIG TOWNS, SO YOU KNOW, SPOKANE BECAME A TOWN
AFTERWARD, AS A RESULT OF THE MINES IN THE COEUR
D’ALENE, NOT VICE VERSA. (NELSON) IT BROUGHT
ATTENTION, IT BROUGHT PEOPLE, AND IT BROUGHT
ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO THE INLAND NORTHWEST. (NARRATOR) TRANSPORTATION
WAS ALWAYS AN ISSUE IN THE COEUR D’ALENE’S. IN THE BEGINNING SIMPLY
GETTING WAGONS IN AND OUT OF THE DISTRICT WAS AN
ARDUOUS TASK THAT REQUIRED MULTIPLE RIVER CROSSING
ON NEARLY NONE EXISTENT TRIALS. THE NEXT FORM OF
TRANSPORTATION INTRODUCED WAS THE STEAMBOAT. HUGE DOCKS WERE
CONSTRUCTED TO ACCOMMODATE THEM AT COEUR
D’ALENE CITY. (AIKEN) .THEY BUILT THIS
HUGE DOCK BETWEEN WHAT WOULD NOW BE THE CDA
RESORT AND TUBBS HILL, IT WAS JUST ONE OF THE
BIGGEST CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN IN CDA, AND
THEY USED IT TO UNLOAD ALL OF THESE VARIOUS THINGS,
AND IT WAS REALLY THE CENTER OF THAT WHOLE
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. (NARRATOR) SHIPS WITH
NAMES LIKE KOOTENAI AND THE GEORIGIE OAKES WOULD
SET SAIL UP THE LAKE LOADED WITH SUPPLIES
AND PASSENGERS. THEY WOULD MAKE STOPS AT
HARRISON BEFORE EMBARKING UP THE SOUTH FORK OF
THE COEUR D’ALENE. ON THIS INLAND PASSAGEWAY
THEY WOULD STEAM THROUGH THE CHAIN LAKES UNTIL
THE RIVER WAS NO LONGER PASSABLE. THERE ANOTHER DOCK WAS
BUILT AT THE CATALDO MISSION. UNTIL THE ARRIVAL OF THE
FIRST NARROW GAUGED TRAINS . PASSENGERS AND SUPPLIES
HAD TO COMPLETE THE JOURNEY TO THE MINING
DISTRICT BY HORSEBACK OR WAGON. WHEN THE MINES FIRST
STARTED TO SHIP ORE OUT OF THE VALLEY IT WOULD BE
LOADED IN TO GUNNY SACKS PACKED ONTO TO WAGONS
RELOADED ONTO THE STEAMERS AND FERRIED TO
COEUR D ALENE. FROM THERE IT WOULD
FINALLY BE LOADED ON TO RAILCARS. AS PLEASANT AS THE SHIPS
COULD BE TO RIDE ON IN THE SUMMER . THE BITTER
WINTERS SOURED THE APPEAL. AND FOR SUPPLIES THE
MULTIPLE HANDLINGS WERE INEFFICIENT AND
DROVE UP COSTS. EVERYONE KNEW A BETTER
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WAS NEEDED. (AMONSON) RAILROADS
WERE THE LOGICAL THING. I THINK SOME PEOPLE
VERY EARLY ON SAW THAT. AND SO YOU GET PEOPLE LIKE
DC CORBIN AH, TRYING TO DECIDE HOW THEY’RE GOING
TO SERVICE THIS AREA. AND THEY’VE GOT SOME
PROBLEMS, THEY GOT A LAKE, THEY’VE EITHER GOT TO GO
AROUND THE LAKE THIS WAY, THEY’VE GOT MOUNTAINS
ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE LAKE, AH, IF THEY DO GO
ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE LAKE, THEY’VE GOT WHAT’S
ALREADY DESIGNATED INDIAN RESERVATION. (NARRATOR) THEY ENDED UP
COMING IN FROM BOTH WAYS . BUT IN THE INTERIM
D.C. CORBIN. WHO WAS ALREADY INVOLVED WITH THE
STEAMBOATS . BUILT NARROW GAUGED TRACKS FROM CATALDO
ALL THE WAY UP TO BURKE. IN A RELATIVELY SHORT
PERIOD HOWEVER THESE WOULD BE REPLACED AND CORBIN
BOUGHT OUT AS THE NATION RAIL COMPANIES RACED TO
COMPLETE LINES INTO THE VALLEY. (BENNETT) UNION PACIFIC
WAS IN FIRST AND THEN THE NORTHERN PACIFIC CAME
IN RIGHT BEHIND THEM (NELSON) AND THAT’S WHY
YOU SEE THE FAMOUS PICTURE OF BURKE, WHERE THE TRAIN
TRACKS GO DOWN THE MAIN STREET OF TOWN. THE CANYONS WERE SO NARROW
THAT THEY HAD TO BUILD THE TRAIN TRACKS ON THE ROAD,
THERE WAS NO OTHER PLACE TO BUILD THEM. (NARRATOR) ALONG WITH
TRAINS THE VALLEY WAS FULL OF OTHER INNOVATIONS
USUALLY DRIVEN BY A NEED TO IMPROVE MINING
OPERATIONS. IN THE VALLEY’S NARROW
CANYONS THERE WASN’T ALWAYS ROOM TO BUILD THE
MILL NEXT TO THE MINE. SO GETTING ORE FROM THE
MINE TO THE MILL WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MOTHER’S
OF INVENTION. THE SILVER MOUNTAIN’S
FAMED GONDOLA IS NOT THE FIRST HIGH WIRE ACT TO
PERFORM IN THE VALLEY. FIRST THERE WERE
THE ORE TRAMS. THEY WERE MORE EFFICIENT
THAN WAGONS . BUT THE REOCCURRING HAZARD OF TONS
OF ORE RAINING DOWN ON THE TOWNS BELOW BROUGHT
ABOUT THE TUNNEL ERA. THE KELLOGG TUNNEL IS NOW
TWO MILES LONG AND HAS BEEN SHUTTLING ORE
AND MINERS THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN TO THE BUNKER
HILL CLAIM FOR ALMOST A HUNDRED YEARS. IN THE BEGINNING. THE
PLANTS THAT SEPARATED THE ORE FROM THE WASTE ROCK OR
TAILINGS AT THE MINES WERE POWERED BY STEAM . AND
KEEPING THE PRESSURE UP REQUIRED ENORMOUS
AMOUNTS OF TIMBER. (NARRATOR) IN 1887 THE
TIGER MINES WERE BURNING A THOUSAND CORDS A
MONTH AT THEIR MILL. (BENNETT) AT THE TIME THEY
DISCOVERED THERE WAS THIS NEW THING CALLED
ELECTRICITY THAT WAS COMING ON THE MARKET AND
PATSY CLARK WHO WAS THE MINE MANAGER OF THE TIGER
MINE THOUGHT THAT HE COULD SAVE A LOT OF MONEY OVER
ALL THIS WOOD POWER IF HE BOUGHT A PORTABLE
GENERATOR, AND THEY BOUGHT WHAT WAS CALLED AN EDISON
GENERATOR, IT WAS THE LARGEST PORTABLE ELECTRIC
GENERATOR IN THE WORLD OF ITS KIND AND INSTALLED
IT AT THE TIGER MILL. AND THEY SOON DISCOVERED
THAT BY USING ELECTRICITY THEY COULD SAVE A LOT OF
MONEY OVER HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS CUT WOOD. THE UH CLARKS THOUGHT
SO MUCH OF IT AND THE ELECTRICITY WAS SO
SUCCESSFUL THAT THEY THEN BEGAN TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH
THIS BRAND NEW COMPANY CALLED WASHINGTON WATER
POWER TO SEE ABOUT BRINGING ELECTRIC
POWER FROM POST FALLS. IN 1903 ELECTRIC POWER WAS
BROUGHT INTO THE DISTRICT ON THE LONGEST ALTERNATING
CURRENT LINES EVER BUILT ON THE PLANET. THEY WERE 75 MILES LONG. THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN
THE COEUR D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT WERE INNOVATIVE.
DETERMINED AND TOUGH. EACH YEAR WHAT MAN HAD
BUILT NATURE SEEMED DETERMINED TO
TRY AND DESTROY. (NELSON) WE HAD AVALANCHES
ALL THE TIME, AND THEY BUILT A RAILROAD OVER
THE SUMMIT NEAR WALLACE DIRECTLY TO MT IN ORDER
TO HAVE A MORE DIRECT CONNECTION. AND, THE ONE THAT WENT
OVER THE SUMMIT WENT VERY HIGH, TO A PLACE WHERE
THERE WAS A LOT SNOW, AND THEY HAD AVALANCHES
ALL THE TIME. AND THEY ALWAYS CAME DOWN,
INTO THE CENTRAL VALLEY AND CLOGGED WITH THE
RAILROAD, CLOGGED UP THE RIVER, AND IT MADE IT VERY
DIFFICULT TO LIVE THERE IN THE WINTER. (NARRATOR) INVARIABLY THE
AVALANCHES WOULD WIPE OUT HOMES AS WELL. IN BLACK BEAR AS WELL AS
OTHER TOWNS IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON FOR ENTIRE
COMMUNITIES TO JOIN IN THE EXCAVATION EFFORTS. (NARRATOR)FIRES WERE
ANOTHER SEASONAL OCCURRENCE. IN 1890 MUCH OF WALLACE
WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE SO THEY REBUILT WITH BRICK
.BUT IN AUGUST OF 1910 WINDS UNITED NUMEROUS
SMALL FOREST FIRES IN TO AN APOCALYPTIC BLAZE. (NELSON) IT CAME SO FAST
THAT THEY COULDN’T STOP FROM DESTROYING
PRETTY MUCH THE WOODEN RESIDENTIAL AREA ON
THE SIDE OF THE HILL. BUT THEN IT STARTED
BURNING THE BRICK BUILDINGS DOWNTOWN. AND IT WAS AMAZING THING,
AND THEY SAID TRAINS LEAVING TOWN WITH CINDER
FLYING DOWN ON TOP OF THEM AS THEY EVACUATED WOMEN
AND CHILDREN, THEN MEN, THE HOSPITAL, EVERYBODY
EVENTUALLY GOT OUT, AND, AND, AND BARELY ESCAPED
AND THEN THEY STOPPED IT BEFORE IT BURNT THE
OTHER HALF OF THE TOWN. AND IT WAS AMAZING AN
EVENT FOR THAT TOWN, BECAUSE IT DESTROYED IT. (NARRATOR) THE FIRE OF
1910 BURNED THREE MILLION ACRES AND LEFT
85 PEOPLE DEAD. IT SEEMED EACH SEASON
COULD BRING ITS OWN DISASTER AND SPRING
WAS NO DIFFERENT. HILLSIDES STRIPPED OF
FLOWAGE BY FIRE . TO HEAT HOMES . BUILD TOWNS AND
PROVIDE TIMBERS FOR THE MINES .WERE LITTLE
USE AS WATER SHEDS. (NELSON) SO, WHEN IT
STARTED RAINING, IT WAS LIKE A CONCRETE SPILLWAY
RIGHT INTO THE RIVERBED AND IT PILED
UP DOWN STREAM. AND THE RESULT OF THAT IS
AH, AS WE KNOW, WAS THAT IF FLOODED OUT THE TOWNS
DOWNSTREAM, ALMOST ON AN ANNUAL BASIS, AND
BASICALLY THEY JUST LET IT WASH AWAY, THEY REBUILT
THE BUILDINGS AGAIN, AND WAITED FOR NEXT YEAR. I MEAN, IT WAS KIND OF A
STRANGE ATTITUDE, BUT AH, THAT’S WHAT THEY DID. SOME OF THE HEARTACHES
SUFFERED BY RESIDENTS OF THE SILVER VALLEY WERE
BROUGHT ON BY THEIR OWN LACK OF ENVIRONMENTAL
PRACTICES. (BENNETT) BY THE TURN OF
THE CENTURY THERE WERE EASILY A DOZEN MAJOR
MINES THAT WERE PRODUCING SEVERAL HUNDRED TONS OR
MORE A DAY IN THE CDA AND ALL TAILING WE WERE
TALKING ABOUT WERE BEING THROWN OUT INTO
THE CREEKS. (AIKEN) AND WHEN IT
FLOODS, THAT MEANS THAT THOSE MINE TAILINGS ARE
SPREAD INTO FARM LANDS, AND FARMERS COMPLAINED
CONSTANTLY, AND IN FACT SUED MINING COMPANIES
ABOUT THE IMPACT THAT THOSE TAILINGS HAD
ON THEIR PROPERTY. IT WAS JUST REALLY HARD
FOR THEM TO HAVE RESOURCES TO COMBAT THESE COMPANIES. AND ALSO, BECAUSE COURTS
DECIDED THAT MINE, MINING WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF
THE ECONOMY, AND THEREFORE IT WAS WORTH ANY DAMAGE
THAT WOULD TAKE PLACE TO THE SMALL FARMER. IT WAS A DIFFERENT TIME
AND A DIFFERENT MIND SET. IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO
HAVE A JOB AND HOME THAN A PRISTINE ENVIRONMENT. THE SMELL OF SULFUR FROM
THE TAILINGS AS THEY OXIDIZED SIMPLY MIXED
WITH THOSE OF GARBAGE AND SEWAGE TO CREATE THE AROMA
OF EVERYDAY LIFE IN A TURN OF THE CENTURY
MINING TOWN. (BENNETT) NOW CANYON CREEK
WOULD OF COURSE BE THE AS POLLUTED AS ANYTHING
ELSE IN THE SOUTH FORK DRAINAGE. AND THE PEOPLE TOOK IT
AS A MATTER OF COURSE. UH THERE WERE MILL
TAILINGS THEY HAD TO GO IN THE CREEK THERE WAS NO
OTHER WAY THAT THEY COULD GET RID OF THEM
AT THE TIME. THAT WAS THEIR LIVELIHOOD. UH THEY THREW ALL THEIR
SEWAGE WENT IN THE CREEK. ALL OF THEIR GARBAGE
WENT IN THE CREEK. YOU JUST THREW YOUR STUFF
IN THE CREEK; IT WAS THE WAY IT WAS DONE. EVEN IN THE EARLY DECADES
OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WHEN THE SMELTER WAS BUILT
THE POLLUTION WAS JUST FACTORED INTO
THE EQUATION. (BENNETT) THEY KNEW UH
WHERE THE SMELTER PLUME WAS GOING TO GO AND
PURCHASED SMOKE EASEMENTS FOR THAT SMELTER. IN OTHER WORDS, JUST LIKE
THEY HAD DONE WITH THE FARMERS. UH, THEY BOUGHT THE RIGHT
TO POLLUTE THE LAND, THEY BOUGHT THE RIGHT TO
POLLUTE THE AIR OVER THE PEOPLE’S PLACES BY
SMELTER EASEMENTS. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD
NO INTEREST IN SUCH THINGS BACK IN THOSE DAYS. (NARRATOR) THE MINE OWNERS
ASSOCIATION HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN SET UP TO DEAL WITH
POLLUTION ISSUES . BUT AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
ITS FOCUS WAS FIXED ON LABOR CONCERNS. (NARRATOR) BY 1899 THE
WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS HAS DEVELOPED A
POWERFUL BASE IN THE COEUR D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT. MERCHANTS AND ELECTED
OFFICIALS ALIKE ARE UNION SUPPORTERS. THE UNION HAS A SAY IN THE
OPERATIONS OF EVERY MINE IN THE DISTRICT BUT ONE. (AIKEN) WELL, THE MANAGER
OF THE BUNKER HILL WAS A MAN NAMED FREDERICK
BRADLEY, WHO WAS STAUNCHLY ANTI-UNION AND STAUNCHLY
CONSERVATIVE IN HIS PULSES. AND THE INVESTORS IN THE
BUNKER HILL, PEOPLE LIKE WILLIAM FOSTER OF THE
CLOCKHILL BANK, CYRUS MCCORMIC, THE REFER GUY,
AHM, EDMOND RYERSON OF THE CHICAGO IRON PERSON, THESE
ARE ALL FOLKS THAT HAD STRONGLY ANTI-UNION
BACKGROUNDS, AND WERE DETERMINED TO
KEEP UNIONS OUT. NOT JUST FOR FINANCES, I
THINK PART OF IT’S A MONEY ISSUE, BUT IT’S PARTLY
AN ISSUE OF MANAGERIAL CONTROL FOR THEM. THEY WANT TO HAVE FREEDOM
OF ACTION WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR OWN MINES. (NARRATOR) THE UNION’S
STRENGTH IS SUFFICIENT TO FORCE ALL THE MINES
BESIDES BUNKER HILL TO AGAIN PAY WORKERS THREE
DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS A DAY. BUNKER HILL REFUSES
TO COMPLY … DESPITE INCREASED PRESSURE
FROM THE UNIONS. BY THE END OF APRIL MASS
RALLIES DESIGNED TO GEAR UP OPPOSITION HAVE
BECOME COMMON PLACE. (AIKEN) AND THESE ARE
MINERS, AND I SUSPECT THAT SOME LIQUOR WAS CONSUMED
AT THESE MEETINGS, AND THE LONGER THE MEETING WENT ON
THE MORE THEY TALKED ABOUT HOW ANGRY THEY WERE
ABOUT THE SITUATION. THEN THEY DECIDED TO
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. ON APRIL 29TH WHAT THEY
DO IS HIJACK THE TRAIN IN BURKE THAT IS ENGINEERED
BY LEVI HUTTON. (AIKEN) AND THEY FORCED
HIM AT GUNPOINT TO GO FROM UP THE CANYON DOWN TO
WARDNER, AND AS THE TRAIN WENT ALONG, THEY WOULD
CONTINUALLY STOP AND TAKE ON MORE MINERS. AND THE MORE MINERS THERE
WERE, AND THEY PROBABLY DRANK MORE AND
THEY GOT ANGRIER. (NARRATOR) NUMBERING 800
STRONG THE MINERS MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE BUNKER
HILL CONCENTRATOR THAT HAD JUST BEEN COMPLETED THE
PREVIOUS YEAR AT A COST REPORTED TO BE
250-THOUSAND DOLLARS. AT 2:26 IN THE AFTERNOON
THERE IS AN EXPLOSION .THEN IMMEDIATELY
A SECOND AND THIRD. PIECES OF MACHINERY
AND LUMBER ARE BLOWN TO KELLOGG A MILE AWAY . AND
WHEN THE DEBRIS SETTLES ONLY SPLINTERS OF THE
BUNKER HILL MILL REMAIN. THE MINER’S CELEBRATORY
MOODS WILL NOT LAST. FOR THIS TIME IT IS
GOVERNOR FRANK STEUNENBERG THAT ANSWERS A
CALL FOR HELP. THOUGH A UNION SUPPORTER
. STEUNENBERG NOW BELIEVES THAT THE WESTERN
FEDERATION OF MINERS SHOULD BE DESTROYED
LIKE A BLIGHT. IDAHO’S NATIONAL GUARD
HAS BEEN SENT TO THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR IN
THE PHILIPPINES . SO AGAIN FEDERAL TROOPS
ARE CALLED IN. THIS TIME IT IS THE BLACK
INFANTRY MEN OF THE 24TH REGIMENT STATIONED AT FORT
SHERMAN WHO MARCH AGAINST THE INSURGENTS. (AIKEN) THAT WAS NOT
UNUSUAL FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN TROOPS TO BE USED
IN INCIDENCES OF LABOR VIOLENCE, BECAUSE PEOPLE
KNEW THAT THAT WOULD INFLAME THE SITUATION
MORE, BUT, MY SUSPICION IN THIS CASE WAS THAT. THAT’S WHO WAS AVAILABLE
AND SO THAT’S WHO THEY SENT. (NARRATOR) ONLY THOSE
MINERS AT WORK IN THE MINES DURING THE EXPLOSION
ARE BEYOND SUSPICION. MEANING THIS TIME 700 MEN
ARE PLACED IN THE BULLPENS . MARTIAL LAW DECLARED BY
STEUNENBERG SUSPENDS THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS SO THERE
ARE NO SPEEDY TRIALS. AS THE WEEKS OF
INCARCERATION DRAW INTO MONTHS . THREE MEN DIE
OF DISEASE WHILE A FOURTH GOES MAD AND DROWNS
HIMSELF IN THE RIVER. ONE OF THOSE INCARCERATED
. DESCRIBED AS “A WILLING TOOL OF THE RIOTERS”
IS LEVI HUTTON. THE ENGINEER IS A QUIET
MAN . HIS WIFE MAY ARKWRIGHT HUTTON IS NOT. SHE EXPRESSES HER OUT RAGE
TO ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN UNTIL HER HUSBAND
IS RELEASED. (AIKEN) MAY …HUTTON WAS
INCENSED ABOUT THIS, AND IN FACT, WROTE A SCATHING
BOOK ABOUT THE WHOLE EPISODE. (NARRATOR) LIKE BEFORE
FEW PEOPLE HELD IN THE BULLPENS ARE EVER TRIED
AND FEWER STILL GO TO JAIL . BUT THE ATTACK ON THE
BUNKER HILL DESTROYED MORE THAN THE MILL . IT
DESTROYED THE UNIONS STRENGTH. UNDER MARSHALL LAW THE
GOVERNOR SENT HIS OWN PEOPLE INTO THE DISTRICT
AND BASICALLY ABOLISHED THE LOCAL COUNTY
GOVERNMENT. (AIKEN) THEY IMPEACHED
THEM ALL AND REPLACED THEM WITH OTHER FOLKS, AND THE
ONLY PERSON WHO WAS LEFT THAT HAD BEEN ELECTED TO
OFFICE IN SHOSHONE COUNTY, WAS DR. FRANCE, WHO WAS
THE BUNKER HILL COMPANY’S PHYSICIAN, BUT WAS ALSO
THE COUNTY CORONER. AND SO HE BECAME THE SORT
OF HEAD OF THIS NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND THEY SET
UP A WHOLE EMPLOYMENT BUREAU WHOSE JOB WAS TO
SCREEN APPLICANTS FOR WORK IN THE MINE. AND YOU COULD NOT GO TO
WORK UNLESS YOU HAD A PERMIT FROM FRANCE AND
BARTLET SINCLAIR, THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR’S….
WHEREIN HE SAID, THAT YOU WERE NOT A MEMBER OF THE
WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS, YOU HAD NOT BEEN
A MEMBER OF THE WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS, AND
YOU WOULD NOT JOIN THE WESTERN FEDERATION
OF MINERS. THEY CALLED THIS THE
YELLOW DOG CONTRACT, OR AGREEMENT. (AIKEN) THE MINERS HELD
GOVERNOR STEUNENBERG RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF
THEIR PLIGHT IN 1899, AND THEY DETESTED HIM. NOT ONLY FOR WHAT HE HAD
DONE REGARDING MARSHALL LAW IN THE BULLPENS, BUT
ALSO BECAUSE WHAT HE HAD DONE CONCERNING THE
POPULACE WHO WERE THEIR ELECTED FOLKS WHO THEY,
THEY FELT OUGHT TO BE RUNNING THE COUNTY. AND SO THEY THOROUGHLY
DISLIKED HIM AND HE WAS AHM, A VILLAIN TO PEOPLE
IN THE CDA AREA AS A RESULT OF THAT. SIX YEARS LATER . LONG
AFTER HE HAD LEFT OFFICE .STEUNENBERG WAS
ASSASSINATED WHEN A BOMB EXPLODED AS HE OPENED THE
GATE TO HIS CALDWELL HOME. (AIKEN) EVENTUALLY A
MAN NAMED HARRY ORCHARD CONFESSED TO PLANTING THE
BOMB AND SAID THAT HIS PLANTING THE BOMB WAS PART
OF A WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS CONSPIRACY, AND IT
ESPECIALLY INVOLVED THE SILVER VALLEY, NOT JUST
BECAUSE OF STEUNENBERG’S INVOLVEMENT, BUT FREDERICK
BRADLEY HAD HAD 2 ATTEMPTS ON HIS LIFE AS WELL. (NARRATOR) THE LEADERS OF
THE WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS INCLUDING BIG BILL
HAYWARD WERE TRIED IN BOISE AT TRIALS THAT
MADE HEADLINES AROUND THE GLOBE. DESPITE HARRY ORCHARD’S
TESTIMONY THEY WERE ACQUITTED. HARRY ORCHARD SPENT THE
REST OF HIS LIFE IN THE BOISE PRISON FOR ADMITTING
TO ACTS OF TERROR THAT RESULTED IN THE DEATHS
OF 17 PEOPLE INCLUDING STEUNENBERG. THE IRONY IS THAT AT ONE
POINT ORCHARD HAD A CHANCE TO BE PART OF THE ONE
THING EVERYONE IN THE SILVER VALLEY DREAMT OF. (AMONSON) THE HERCULES I
THINK IS ONE OF THE BEST EXAMPLES OF RAGS TO RICHES
STORIES THAT YOU CAN COME UP WITH IN THE WESTERN US. (NELSON) AND IT WAS
CENTERED ON TWO BROTHERS, THE DAY BROTHERS, AND IT
INCLUDED THE BARBER SHOP OWNER WHO WAS GUS PAULSEN,
AND IT INCLUDED A BOARDING HOUSE AH AHM, OWNER WHO
WAS MAY ALBRIGHT HUTTON, INCLUDING HER HUSBAND
LEVIE HUTTON, WHO WAS A RAILROAD ENGINEER. THESE WERE PEOPLE, THEY
WERE MERCHANTS AND AND MINERS, IN WALLACE, WHO
DID WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DID AH, WHO HAD JUST A
LITTLE EXTRA MONEY OR A LITTLE EXTRA TIME, THEY
WENT OFF AND DID A LITTLE MINING CLAIM
ACTIVITY THEMSELVES. (NARRATOR) IT BEGAN IN
THIS VALLEY IN AUGUST OF 1889. AFTER A FIRE HARRY DAY
AND FRED HARPER FOUND A PROMISING OUTCROP
PREVIOUSLY HIDDEN BY UNDERBRUSH. THEY LOCATED ADJOINING
CLAIMS CALLED THE HERCULES AND FIREFLY. HARPER SOON SOLD OUT .
HOWEVER THE DAYS TOOK ON PARTNERS TO FINANCE THE
SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINE. AT ONE POINT EVEN HARRY
ORCHARD WAS BRIEFLY A SHAREHOLDER. (AMONSON) HE HAD A GROCERY
BILL AND HE HAD A GAMBLING DEBT BILL, AND THERE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN A THREE-WAY EXCHANGE THERE TO PAY
OFF THAT GAMBLING DEBT. AH AH, BUT ANYWAY,
ESSENTIALLY THEN, DAN CARDNER WAS THE ONE WHO
WHO ENDED UP WITH HARRY ORCHARD’S 1/16 INTEREST. FOR ROUGHLY 12 YEARS
THE DAY FAMILY AND THEIR VARIOUS PARTNERS WORKED
THE CLAIM AS TIME AND MONEY ALLOWED. (AMONSON) AND THEN FINALLY
AUG, PAULSEN BROKE INTO WHAT WE CALL COMMERCIAL
ORE IN JUNE OF 1901, AND FROM THE TIME THEY LOOKED
AT THOSE SAMPLES OF ORE, AH AH THEY KNEW THAT
THEY HAD AH, A VERY RICH COMMERCIAL ORE BODY. AND IT, TH AT IF THIS WAS
PROPERLY DEVELOPED, THAT THEY WOULD ALL BE
VERY COMFORTABLE. AND OF COURSE, IT TURNED
OUT THEY WERE MUCH MORE THAN COMFORTABLE. (NARRATOR) THE OWNERS OF
THE HERCULES TRULY STRUCK IT RICH . THEY ALL
BECAME MILLIONAIRES. (AIKEN) THE MAIN
DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THE
HERCULES PARTNERS, THE PAULSENS, THE DAYS, AND
THE HUTTONS, CONTINUED TO OWN THE HERCULES
THROUGHOUT IT’S HISTORY, AND KEPT THE MONEY
PRIMARILY IN ID, BUT ALSO EVENTUALLY THEY MOVED TO
SPOKANE AND BUILT HOUSES THERE AND HAVE BUSINESS
CENTERS THERE, BUT THEY REALLY ARE LOCAL PEOPLE,
AND THEY CONTINUE TO BE LOCAL PEOPLE THROUGHOUT
THE HISTORY OF THAT MINE. AND OPERATE THE MINE
THEMSELVES, WHICH IS VERY UNUSUAL. (NARRATOR) EVERYONE WHO
CAME TO THE COEUR D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT WAS IN
SEARCH OF A SILVER LINING AND IN THE CASE OF THE
HERCULES THOSE INVOLVED LITERALLY FOUND IT. FOR SOME THE DREAMS
OF RICHES WERE NEVER FULFILLED . FOR OTHERS THE
SILVER LININGS CAME IN THE FORM OF A HOME .FAMILY AND
COMMUNITY FORGED FROM THE MINERALS OF THE
SILVER VALLEY ITSELF. MANY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS
THAT BROUGHT THIS STORY TO LIFE WERE TAKEN WITH THIS
VERY CAMERA AND ARE THE LIFE’S WORK OF
TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS. AFTER COMING TO THE VALLEY
FOR THE GOLD RUSH, THOMAS NATHAN BARNARD SET UP HIS
HOUSEHOLD AND A STUDIO IN WALLACE. BY THE END OF 1898 HE
WAS MAYOR OF WALLACE AND NEEDED AN ASSISTANT. NELLIE JANE STOCKBRIDGE
ANSWERED HIS CALL. FOR MORE THAN SIX DECADES
SHE FAITHFULLY PRESERVED THE WORLD AROUND HER.
PROVIDING US A PICTURE WINDOW BACK IN TIME.

9 Comments

  1. While interesting and well done, I find it hard to believe that the narrator does not know how to pronounce "placer" as in placer mining. The "a" is short, not long. Has she not heard of Placerville, CA? Having grown up in the valley, it made me grind my teeth hearing her mispronounce it numerous times.

  2. this place is beautiful, i am staying in the old molly b dam motel while its being renovated, i went upto burke earlier and saw all of these places today, i even went past into the mountains on this little dirt unknown dirt road.. there is SOO much history here in the shoshone

  3. Thanks to these idiots, they destroyed the streams and water quality all the way to the ocean. I know they didn't know any better but its a bummer none the less.

  4. The founding stock does not like to be displaced. It is natural to not want to be displaced by mass amounts of new comers. Stop trying to make it sound like a bad thing. Typical coerupt government protecting to corporations over the oeople they are suppose to serve. Jews are probably behind it all per usual.

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