New map, research center opening in Wallace

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Courtesy photo// This weekend there will be a grand opening gala for the Wallace District Mining Museum’s new map and reaserch center.

WALLACE — The Wallace District Mining Museum (WDMM) will be hosting a grand opening gala on Saturday evening for their new map and research center.

The center now houses print and digitized maps for the 800 plus mine and prospect sites in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District, including thousands of digitized photos from several collections, video interviews, plus work, birth and death records from mines and area hospitals.

For an area so steeped in mining and local history, this new feature will be a godsend for heavy researchers and the curious casual information seeker.

“The new map and research room combines the components of maps, archival documents, oral/video histories into one room for ease of access and efficiency for the researcher,” WDMM executive director Tammy Copelan said. “This room can be utilized by researchers professional or otherwise by appointment.”

Once an appointment is made, the museum staff will do their due diligence to make sure that they track down all applicable documents prior to the researcher’s arrival, making the opening stages of their search much easier.

“They can then utilize the kiosk, map tables, panels, historical books/documents, oral/video DVDs, and tapes to complete their research,” Copelan said. “There is no charge for the first hour but if documents are copied there is a fee schedule as well as for additional time.”

Copelan saw a need for a service like this and wanted to make sure that there were as many options as possible for users to find as much information as possible.

“I planned this area as a multipurpose utility that would benefit the community by incorporating all the documentations in a sort of one-stop shop,” Copelan said. “There are no other comprehensive map and research rooms in the Silver Valley we needed this as a starting point with anticipated expansion. We have a comprehensive group of maps/documents/interviews that is imperative it is foster interest in the Silver Valley, in the past and the present offerings.”

The project was funded both regionally and locally as the Inland Northwest Community Foundation (now known as Innovia) was the primary funder with the Morbeck Foundation and WDMM supplementing as well.

The grand opening gala begins at 6 p.m. on July 7 at the Wallace District Mining Museum at 509 Bank Street in Wallace.

To conduct your own research project contact the Mine Museum to make an appointment at (208) 556-1592 or email

Guests can also visit their new website,

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