Northern Idaho Town's Street Featured On National Website

May 3, 2016

Wallace, Idaho was once one of the largest and most prosperous towns in the state. Situated beside Interstate 90 west of Coeur d'Alene and less than 100 miles from the Canadian border, the old mining town boomed around the turn of the 20th century. At its height, Wallace miners produced the most silver in the country, earning it the nickname "Silver Capital of the World."

Today, the town's former glory days are remembered in the Wallace Historic District, which includes Bank Street. This street -- which houses a microbrewery, restaurants, jewelry and antique stores -- is featured on a website about main streets around the country.

(And of course, Wallace's reputation for unchecked prostitution at the Oasis Rooms brothel through 1988 has also gained the town fame throughout the years. These days, the Oasis is a museum.)

But what the list doesn't detail are the economic troubles Wallace residents face. According to census estimates, 22.4 percent of the people live below the poverty line, and the median household income is $32,750. Compare that to Idaho's overall $47,334 median income and 15.6 percent poverty. The population has been decreasing since 1950, and today only 784 people live in this northern Idaho town.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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