Owners Give "Limited Edition" Tour Of Minnie Moore Mine
Bellevue, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The Wood River Valley has a long history of mining in this area. Today the owners of the Minnie Moore Mine northwest of Bellevue gave the very first in-depth tour in all the years they've owned it.
Resident Caretaker Heather Johnston says, "This one is especially important because this was one of the second top producing mines in the Wood River Valley. It produced $9 million worth of silver in the 1880s, which was a whole lot of money."
Johnston says in today's terms, that would roughly be more than $200 million. These mines are simply dug into the side of the hill. That means the mine walls are made of dirt, instead of rock, and the dirt can collapse very easily, making these mines very dangerous to just walk into.
Johnston says, "The mine is actually a number of mining claims up this canyon. I believe we have 19 different mines up this canyon. They were claimed by men who just went and dug a hole in the ground in the hopes of finding riches. And they did!"
About 150 people showed up for the Minnie Moore Mine tour in just three hours. Johnston says she's surprised at the number of people who came, despite the number of times people knock on her door, asking if they have a public tour of their private property.
Johnston says, "As far as the future, this still is a working mine. So the tours are probably going to be very few and far between."
Sept. 1, 2012.