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Mystery Photos & Archives

Mystery Photos

Dear Friends,

The following photos are currently on display at the Museum;
but unfortunately we can not identify the people in them.

If you know whom any of these people are; please let us know.

Even educated guesses are welcome.

Please send us an e-mail at


Many Thanks.

Mystery Photo 1

Mystery Photo 2

Mystery Photo 3


Mystery Photo 4

Mystery Photo 5


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a large number of historical documents, books, photos, films & sound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