“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein
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Wallace, ID – When you hear of a town in which every single building is on the National Historic Register, what’s the first thing that goes through your mind? If you ask us, that sounds pretty darn interesting. So, we’d already be fueling the car and packing for the trip to this small town. In fact, that’s exactly what we did when we discovered this interesting place nestled in Idaho’ Panhandle region. And, boy, was Wallace a hoot!
Wondering Who Colonel Wallace Was? We’ll Tell You Who He Wasn’t
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Bitterroot Mountains in northern Idaho, the 12-decade long story of Wallace features elements of comedy, heroism, great wealth, passion, intrigue, and of course, danger. This place is a genuine, old west mining town that has survived till this very day. It’s no surprise Wallace’s origins can be traced back to 1884. That year, Colonel Wallace, who wasn’t a real colonel, purchased land and built his cabin in the area. This became the site of today’s city.
With a population of just under 800, modern-day Wallace is a highly-popular tourist hotspot. World-class attractions, sparkling streams, beautiful forests and towering mountains have a lot to do with that. For example, Lookout Pass recreation area can be found just east of Wallace. Every year, this place averages over 400 inches of snow on the ski runs. Route of the Hiawatha is also nearby. Widely considered the most scenic biking and hiking trail in the country, this is actually a 15-mile section of former railway. Furthermore, just 20 minutes to the west, one can easily find the Silver Mountain Resort. This place boasts a full-on waterpark, complete with gondolas to the ski mountain.
Looking To Understand The Now? Go Back To The Way It Was Before
And if weird and quirky is your flavor of choice on a typical holiday, you’ll have come to the right place! Wallace, ID, has officially been declared the Center of the Universe. Yup, no typo here. In 2004, the mayor of Wallace made the official proclamation, following the EPA’s logic of “if something can’t be disproven, then it must be true.” And since it can’t be disproven that Wallace is the center of the universe, it most certainly must be so. A manhole cover on Main Street even testifies to that. Go figure!
Historic Wallace, ID, is a town dotted with trails just waiting to be explored and thick with huckleberry bushes and pines. Surrounded by towering mountains, it is said that the days of the Wild West lasted much longer around this small town than most other places. Exploring how things used to be and going back in time can often provide insight into why many things today are precisely the way they are.
Why Not Personally Discover What The Big Hollywood Studios Apparently Already Know?
Over the years, Wallace had several brushes with fame. In 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt made a stop in town, giving a speech from the historic train station. At the time, the event was marked with a parade and gathering for the speech at the Wallace City Park. In 2003, 100 years later, the town threw together a small commemorative festival to mark the occasion. Mind you, if any of us are around in 2103, it’d sure be nice to check it out once again.
Lana Turner, the famous movie actress, also grew up in this rough and tumble town before being “discovered” by the Hollywood industry. Her full name was Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner and she was simply known as “Judy” until she changed it to Lana at the age of 16. The rest is, as they say, history. Finally, movies such as “Dante’s Peak,” “Heaven’s Gate,” and “Tornado” have been filmed against the backdrop of downtown Wallace and the breathtaking surrounding forests. And if the big, money-guzzling studios felt this place had something to offer, it certainly has plenty in store for us, mere mortals.