Our small Historic town of Wallace is home to over 900 citizens. In 2004, the mayor made a proclamation: “I, Ron Garitone, Mayor of Wallace, Idaho, and all of its subjects, and being of sound body and mind, do hereby solemnly declare and proclaim Wallace to be the Center of the Universe.”
The history of the claim as told by town historian Shauna Hillman, one of the original four behind the idea: “Why not? That’s the answer to why is it the Center of the Universe.” The second answer: “Prove it isn’t.” This relies on the theory of probabilism: If you cannot prove that Wallace is not the Center of the Universe, then it must be the Center of the Universe.
The theory of probabilism arose during an unwelcome visit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which announced that due to mining, the local water and soil were polluted. They declared Wallace a Superfund site; but they also admitted that they couldn’t prove whether the lead in the water was due to continued mining operations, or whether it was naturally occurring. Since none of the causes could be disproved, the EPA expanded the Superfund site from 21 square miles to 1,500, devaluing local homes and businesses.
The Center of the Universe manhole cover displays four sets of initials bordering the miner. These initials–HL, CDE, SRLM, and BHM–represent four prominent mining companies: Hecla Mining, Coeur d’Alene Precious Metals, Sunshine Silver Mine, and Bunker Hill Mining Company. Prior to this proclamation Wallace declared itself the Silver Capital of the World. Mining first started here in 1884, over 1.2 billion ounces of silver have been found in the surrounding silver mines.
Every building in Wallace’s historic downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places. This venture was part of a very deliberate effort to prevent the district from being completely bulldozed for the construction of the interstate highway. The town is nestled within 600 miles of national forest, and there are ample opportunities for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, fishing, zip-lining, and spotting wildlife in the Center of the Universe.
The Mayor’s Proclamation
I, Ron Garitone, Mayor of Wallace, Idaho, and all of its subjects, and being of sound body and mind, do hereby solemnly declare and proclaim Wallace to be the Center of the Universe.
Thanks to the newly discovered science of “Probalism” – specifically probalistic modeling, pioneered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Welfare, and peer-reviewed by La Cosa Nostra and the Flat Earth Society – we were further able to pinpoint the exact center within the Center of the Universe; to wit: a sewer access cover slightly off-center from the intersection of Bank and Sixth Streets.
Upon discovering this desecration of the Center of the Universe, we proceeded forthwith to remove said manhole cover and replace it with this fine Monument, directing all who come upon it to the Four Corners of the Universe, these being the Bunker Hill, the Sunshine, the Lucky Friday and the Galena Mines. Let the courses of all who foray upon these vectors into the known and unknown be forever illuminated by the brilliant, shimmering gleanings of silver, lead and zinc to their destinations, wherever they may be.
The science of Probalism has its roots in the 2002 EPA Coeur d’Alene Basin Record of Decision, and as a syllogism expresses itself thusly: if a thing cannot be disproven, it is thereby proven. Thus, if the communities of the Silver Valley cannot absolutely prove themselves to the EPA’s satisfaction to be good and healthy places to live, then this is proof that they require the EPA’s continued meddling in their affairs.
Similarly, after a search of the literature, our government-contracted scientists in Moscow, Boise and Seattle have, after years of diligence, been unable to unearth one scintilla of proof that Wallace is NOT the Center of the Universe. In the absence of such proof, we are compelled to conclude that Wallace must therefore BE the Center of the Universe.
And it is hereby so ordered and declared, this year 2004,
this date, September 25th, this hour, 9:00 PM WUT (Wallace Universal Time).