Mullan, Idaho

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Mullan is a city located in a sheltered canyon of the Coeur d'Alène Mountains in Shoshone County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. The population was 840 at the 2000 census. The city is in the east end of the Silver Valley mining district; the elevation is 3250 feet (990 m) above sea level. The Lucky Friday mine is several hundred yards east of the city center [1] The active mine (silver, lead, & zinc) descends more than 6000 feet (1.8 km) below the surface.

Interstate 90 runs by the south side of the city, and the Montana border at Lookout Pass is 4 miles (7 km) east at 4700 feet (1432 m).



Mullan came into existence in 1884 when with the discovery of gold at the Gold Hunter Mine which turned out to be a lead and silver producer. That same year George Good made a lead-silver strike with the morning mine and Mullan came into existence between the two mines. The site was filed in August 1888, after the village had twenty log and fifteen frame houses, a sawmill, and a population of 150. The Great Northern Railway came to it in 1889 and the city was incorporated in 1904.[1]

During the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho labor confrontation of 1899 200 miners from mullan joined the Dynimite express. In the aftermath of the labor war, many of Mullans leaders and Populist elected officials including the sheriff were arrested and sent to the wallace bull pens[2]

The city was named for West Point graduate John Mullan, who was in charge of selecting a wagon route (commonly called the Mullan Road) between Fort Benton (Montana) and Fort Walla Walla (Washington). Lieutenant Mullan, a topographical engineer, began gathering information in 1854. Delayed by the Indian War of 1858, construction began in 1859 from Fort Walla Walla. The highest elevation of the road was Mullan Pass at 5168 feet (1575 m), which is about 7 miles (10 km) east of the city on the Idaho-Montana border. After the strenuous project was completed in 1860, floods wiped out substantial stretches of the road, and the road was re-routed in 1861. Floods again damaged the road, and ultimately, no provision for maintenance was provided.[3]

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