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Mystery Photos & Archives

Mystery Photos

Do you Know any of these people?

This photo of Bunker Hill miners going to work hangs in the basement of the Staff House. It likely dates from the mid 1950's to early 1960's. It was noted by Harry Cougher that there are no white polymer hard hats seen in the photo. Those were first introduced in 1964. The picture was taken at number 1 shaft which was primarily an ore haul shaft, but a man skip known as a "pickle boat" was attached to the bottom of the  ore skip at the beginning and end of shits to transport men from 9 level to 23 level where they boarded a man coach to be taken about 3,000 feet over to the collar of the service raise that took men to levels 24 through 29.

Jack Reichert (KHS class of  73) informs us that:

(17) is his uncle Frank (Sonny) Coast and

  (7)  is his grandfather Olie Coast.

Marcia Morgan Jacobs (KHS class of 72) has identified

( 24) as her father Keith Morgan. Keith was the Division Foreman responsible for six to eight mining crews, each of which was lead by a shift boss.


Harry Cougher has sent us a very informative letter in which he identified the following men;

(1) Grant Archer - shift boss

(4) Quill McBrien - drift miner.

    Note: The Quill ore body is named for Mr. McBrien.

    He was driving the drift that first exposed that high grade  zinc / lead ore body.

(5) Bob Waldvogel - He died in the Sunshine Fire.

(10) Ed Fry - Harry notes that he was a "hell of a good miner and mechanic".

(23) "Whitey" Gunderson - Possibly the Service Raise skip tender at the time. Later became the hoistman.

(21 & 22) Unnamed - May have been the motor crew that hauled men back to the Service Raise.

Possible; but not certain
(15) Bob Allen - Stope miner, later diamond driller.
(18) Ralph McKenzie - Stope miner
(20) Gary James or his twin brother - development miner, raises and drifts.

Can you identify others?

If so; e-mail us at admin@staffhousemuseum.com

or write us at

PO box 783,

Kellogg, ID 83837

Christmas Parties Past

Greetings Friends,

With our latest Holiday party at the Museum we are reminded of the days when Bunker hosted similar parties for the children of salaried staff and management at this building.

We have some photos of these events from the late 50s and early 60s shown below.

We would love to acquire more such photos and identify as many as possible in the ones we have.

Herewith are the photos we have. Please take a look and see if you can identify any of the people pictured.

Even educated guesses are welcome.

Please send us an e-mail at


Many Thanks.

We know this is Tom Lyons and Jim Larson.
Taken in the Staff House living room on the 1st floor.

This and the following picture were both taken in 1959.

Ok; number 18 is me; Rick Chapman.
Yeah; I know; not looking too thrilled with the station wagon.
Wanted a Corvette...

This is a very dapper Tom Lyons from early 60s
Taken in the basement recreation room.

So if you recognize any of the numbered people; please write us and let us know who they are, or who you think they might be.

If you have any similar photos from Christmas parties or other events at the Staff House; please scan them and email them to us at

Or bring them by the Museum when we open in the Spring.

Again; many thanks.


The Shoshone County Mining & Smelting Museum has accumulated
a large number of historical documents, books, photos, films & sound
Thanks to the efforts of Ellie Arguimbau; a former archivist for the
Montana Historical Society; we are now well on our way to having
this material organized, inventoried and properly archived.

Descriptions and inventories of the Staff House Archives collection are hosted
by the University of Idaho's Special Collection website.

The URL bellow will link you to that information.


Among the many interesting items are a collection
of Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter Payroll Books.

These include
Mine Payroll Books             - 1901 to 1957 (142 Volumes)
Smelter Payroll Books        - 1921 to 1954  (37 Volumes)
Caledonia Payroll              - 1914 to 1938 (Two Volumes)
Sierra Nevada Payroll        - 1913 to 1925 (One Volume)
Ontario Mining Co. Payroll - 1917 to 1925 (One Volume)

These Payroll Books have proven to of interest to family tree researchers as they
list names and occupations of everyone who worked at the Mine, Mill or Smelter
during the years covered.

At left some signatures of miners
for their paychecks in 1901

Above note that this 1932 entry shows that 
deductions could be made for local store accounts.
(Kellogg Lumber is still in business today.)
Note also that checks could be picked up at the YMCA or that wives could pick them up.

Archived materials may be accessed by appointment only.
Fees may apply for non-members or for extended use.
Please contact Oradell Triplett at 208-786-7041 to make arrangements.

Some Pay Rates From 1909

Even a hundred years ago mining paid good wages.
The following rates were taken from a 1909 Payroll Book.
This was a full five years before Henry Ford instituted the $5 a day pay scale at his auto plants.
In 1909 a starting factory worker made an average of just $2.34 a day.

Monthly pay rates

Mine Superintendent                  $350

Superintendent of Construction    $350

Metallurgist                              $300

Metallurgist Assistant                 $165

Assayer                                   $165

Surveyor                                  $160

Book Keeper                             $175

Janitor *                                 $  20

Daily Pay Rates

Shift Boss       $5.00              

Hoistman        $4.00                          

Miner             $3.50 

Laborer          $3.00

* Assumed to be a part time job