For more�than a century, mining has been the backbone of the Silver Valley. While the industry still thrives in some areas, there are now scars all over the Panhandle of broken dreams and forgotten riches; those scars could pose a serious danger for anyone who ventures into the mountains.
Evolution Mine triggered gold and silver fever in North Idaho in the 1880s, becoming the first lode-mining site in the ore-rich Coeur d?Alene Mining District.�
Today, the main shaft of the historic Evolution site just west of Osburn, Idaho, is a forgotten mining scar -- a dangerous and very accessible 12-foot diameter vertical shaft that may drop 300 feet or more into the Earth, just a short distance from busy Interstate 90.
Shown photos of the gaping hole this week, the executive of the private company that owns the 20.6-acre patented mining claim said he was unaware the shaft existed and promised immediate action to close the site near Terror Gulch. The mine hasn?t been operational for 70 years or more.