Sunday, 18 August 2013

a town called wallace

It's always great to stumble upon a new place, somewhere you've never even heard of before, and be delighted by everything you find.  One of our pits stops, to refuel the car, and ourselves with coffee and treats to keep us going, those was at a town called Wallace in Idaho.

After staying the night in a pretty miserable hotel in a very unexciting town we needed something to lift our spirits and Wallace did just that.  A small mining town in north Idaho's 'Silver Valley', the area is the silver mining capital of the world, producing over 1.2 billion ounces of silver since 1884.  Population just under 800!  A quirky little place with something interesting around every corner, historical buildings, mining carts overflowing with flowers, great signs and interesting history.

We had fantastic vanilla malt shakes at The Red Light Garage bar / restaurant.   Mouthwatering bbq ribs and pulled pork at The Smokehouse washed down with a very good local beer named the 'Dirty Blond'.

There are curious shops selling all manner of antiques, neon signs, stuffed animals and brick-a-brack.  I'm sure if we'd had more space in our car (we were fully loaded with camping gear), then a good few of those objects would have come home with us.

There's even a 'Bordello Museum' in an old brothel giving a nod to Wallace's colorful past.  During the 1920s due to the silver rush and the influx of miners (there were 200 men to every woman) 5 brothels apparently did a roaring trade!  The Oasis Bordello was finally closed down in 1988!

And finally, Wallace has a monument at an intersection in the center of town saying Wallace is the 'Center of the Universe'.  Actually, the story goes that as this statement cannot be disproven, it is thereby proven!  And so since 2004 Wallace the Center of the Universe has been celebrated every year and now has a 'Miss Center of the Universe' competition!  Bizare yet true!

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else that has visited or knows Wallace.


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