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The Center of the Universe? Small town in Idaho says it is


This week’s Inside Idaho is about the Center of the Universe.

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Founded in the late 1880s in the middle of Idaho’s panhandle, sits a small town of just under 1000 people. A part of the Coeur d’Alene silver-mining district – which produced more silver than any other mining district in the United States – the little town of Wallace, Idaho was put on the map for another reason.

[“The Joe”: The highest navigable river in the world is in Idaho]

In 2004, Wallace’s mayor Ron Garitone proclaimed the town the Center of the Universe. Why? Because he could… using the theory of probabilism. Since no one could prove the people of Wallace wrong… well then… it must be true.

Manhole cover in Wallace, Idaho deemed the Center of the Universe. Photo courtesy: Idaho Tourism.

Today, the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” marker sits at the intersection of Bank and Sixth streets Wallace’s downtown area.

In addition to the declaration on the cover, there are four initials – HL, CDE, SRLM, and BHM – representing the four prominent mining companies in Shoshone County: Hecla Mining, Coeur d’Alene Precious Metals, Sunshine Silver Mine, and Bunker Hill Mining Company.

Since it was discovered in 1885, the mining district has produced over 2 billion dollars in metal wealth (silver, lead, and zinc), according to Idaho State University’s website.

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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