Idaho Attractions November 11, 2016
The Little Town In Idaho That Might Just Be The Most Unique Town In The World
Of all the towns in Idaho, it’s hard to choose just one to be the “most unique” — they’re all pretty special! But one charming town in the panhandle is so singular that it’s been recognized nationally as the most unique small town in Idaho, as one of the top 10
most “authentic” towns in America, and more. But while Wallace’s claim to fame is often its unique history, captured in places like the Sierra Silver Mine and Oasis Bordello Museum, this town has so much more to offer!
The quaint town of Wallace in Idaho's Panhandle (pop. 784) dates back to 1884, just a few short years before the Silver Valley Mining District took off.
Wallace was named after William R. Wallace, a local farmer. The discovery of the Poorman and Tiger silver lodes transformed the region into a booming epicenter, eventually forming one of the largest Silver deposits in the United States. By 1886, the town's population surpassed 500, just shy of its current population.
The close-knit community is notably special for a number of reasons, both historical and present-day.
Residents here have rallied together repeatedly over the years to fight for the conservation of this beautiful town.
From battling multiple fires -- including the Big Burn of 1910 -- and devastating floods, to coming together to protect the town's history from being destroyed by the unwanted development of a highway through the city center, Wallace is one collaborative success story after another.
But Wallace is also home to wonderfully eclectic shops, motels, and theaters, each with their own vibrant personality.
A stroll through downtown will never disappoint -- be sure to stop an take a few photos, too!
Truth be told, this charming town is still delightfully lost in time, at least on the surface.
Wallace Chamber of Commerce/Facebook
This photo is circa 1964, but not much has changed architecture-wise!
And while there are dozens of reasons to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind gem, it all starts with the scenery.
The Historic Wallace Heritage Trail, the
Pulaski Tunnel Trail
, the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, and dozens of other hiking, biking, and scenic meandering trails have their place in Wallace.
It's perfect in every season! In fall, a trip to the top of one of Wallace's 12 historic stairs offers perfect foliage viewing opportunities, while in winter, you might just find local schoolchildren fashioning a makeshift slide.
The town's history played a major role in shaping Idaho into the state it is today.
You can read more about Wallace's historic trolley ride and mine tour
You'll almost always drive through and find a festival or celebration taking place.
From the traditional Oktoberfest, to Wallace's unique Gyro Days, Fall for History, and Depot Day celebrations, every moment is enjoyed with the community in colorful style.
Even the unique museums, tours, and reenactments have given Wallace a little something extra to add to their name.
The Oasis Bordello Museum -- a preserved tribute to the town's former underbelly reputation - is one of the most surprising places to visit, but the Depot Museum, Sierra Silver Mine Museum, and more are all worth a trip.
But perhaps the town's most lovable and notable claim to fame is its self-proclaimed title of "Center of the Universe."
They even have the "center" marked at the intersection of Bank and Sixth St. to prove it. This was yet another moment in Wallace's history where the townspeople came together to protect their city, which you can read more about
When it comes to personality, Wallace has one of the biggest and most vibrant “big-little” cultures in Idaho, and we love this little town for all of its oddities, surprises, and beauty!