The Crystal Gold Mine, near Kellogg, Idaho was one of the first hard rock mines in the Silver Valley. Worked during the 1880’s; closed by hiding the mine, it was rediscovered in 1991, reclaimed in 1996, and opened as a tourist historical attraction.
The work was all done in candlelight by hand. The guided underground tour explains how they drilled with “Hand Steels” using “Single Jacks” and “Double Jacks” (Hammers), how they traced the quartz vein using 1880 methods, how they tested the vein for gold. Beautiful stalactite crystals of smithsonite in an array of colors coat the walls. Gold and wire silver can still be seen in the quartz vein.
Crystal Gold Mine can be reached by taking Idaho Exit 54 on Interstate 90 to the Miner’s Memorial (located on the North side of the freeway). Turn left (west) on Silver Valley Road, and go two miles.