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Posts Tagged ‘bordellos’

As noted in an earlier post, I had the opportunity to spend a few days recreating in and around Wallace in northern Idaho. After flying down the ski slopes, soaring along the snowmobiling paths and zooming around single-track mountain bike trails, be sure to cool your jets with a trip to the beautiful town of historic Wallace where the local history, quenching brews and delightful eats will give you a full-body experience of what makes this mining town a hidden treasure.
As a buy local type of guy, I look forward to the local digs that only small towns can offer. To my pleasant surprise, there are two outstanding breweries in Wallace. Walking down the well-known Bank Street, just down the road from the center of the universe, I noticed large brew kettles (coppers as they say in the “biz”) through the glass windows.
Wallace Brewery, a three year old brewery that prides itself on keeping the history of its beer relevant to Wallace. Rumor has it that there were a handful of extra special women who worked in the Bordellos during the early 1900s. Therefore, the coppers include scandalous names like Stella and Roxy to signify the different types of beer being brewed. Also in spirit of the bordellos and mining history they’ve named their beers as such; Dirty Blonde, Jackleg Stout, and Orehouse Amber to give each drink an extra special feel to historic Wallace.
I also visited the North Idaho Mountain Brew on the opposite side of town. Established in 2008, North Idaho Mountain Brew finally brought a dream to reality after years of home brewing in Alaska. They have five brewed delights on tap that relate to Northern Idaho including Mountain Top Amber, Summit Gold and Loft Honey, which have significance to the local ski resorts. Both breweries have their beer in pubs across Northern Idaho and are host to several home brew get-togethers; stop in for a sampler (bring in some of your own personal masterpiece to share) and please your taste buds with these flavorful beers!
My final hours in Wallace took me through the south side of town. When looking for the finest local breads, cakes, and espressos look no further than D&G Bakery for a fresh home cooked treasure (as if your mom was in the kitchen). After finishing a mouth watering chocolate chip cookie I made my way down 5th street where an invigorating scent filled the air. A large, old fashioned smoker sits outside the Smoke House BBQ and Saloon to bring in empty stomach’s looking to combine the sweet aroma with their barbecued entrees. If not to delight in the food, be sure to jump inside for a beer and admire the history within the building. In 1980, artist John Hart painted a 100 foot wildlife mural on the back wall and is said to have been compensated with beer for this work; sounds like a great deal to me!
With the sun going down, creating a beautiful sunset glowing over the hills it was time to grab dinner at the 1313 club, a local bar and restaurant. Uniquely enough, its name came in two fashions: first, its original bar was 13 feet high by 13 feet wide and secondly, being the 13th bar in Wallace it needed a snazzier name than “The 13th bar”. The 1313 club serves the local brews of Wallace and has a large menu to satisfy anyones appetite. Great food, fun atmosphere, and the historic nature of the restaurant will speak for itself.
Don’t miss the opportunity to venture around the small town (4 blocks long by 9 blocks wide) of historic Wallace. While I only had the opportunity to spend one full-day and visit a select few breweries, stores and restaurants, there are many other hidden treasures in town that I look forward to visiting on my next trip to historic Wallace.

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Where’s Waldo? You all remember him, the mystery man wearing a camouflage type red and white sweater, matching hat and blue pants. I took a trip to a small, quaint historic town in Northern Idaho where many people would ask, where’s Wallace?
Wallace, Idaho home to a mere 784 people and a long-standing history is a priceless experience just off I-90. After arriving at the Wallace Inn I immediately felt something special about the town, but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was until I explored the town. It was like an episode of Cheers, where everyone knew my name! Well, not quite, no one knew my name, but locals acted like we’d been neighbors for years. More captivating than the people in the town is the history that surrounds it. The rich history in Wallace of mining led to the building of 13 bars and 13 churches – so you knew exactly where everyone was on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Until 1988 when the last one closed, there were five bordellos in town to accompany the lifestyles of the lead, copper and silver miners. So if you see small huts (usually about five in a row) or extremely steep stair cases covered from the street to the second story as you’re walking through town, you know you’re in the midst of some Wallace bordello history. Unfortunately, the Oasis Bordello Museum is currently closed from October to April, but if you have the opportunity to see this during the open months it’s an absolute must see.
Beyond the history, outdoor enthusiasts have every reason to be excited about this small town in the Idaho Panhandle. Whether you’re into skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months or mountain biking and trail running in the summer, Wallace is your receipt for everything recreation. Two pristine mountains, Silver Mountain and Lookout Mountain during the winter months are both within 10 miles of Wallace and hundreds of miles of road and trail riding for the warmer days, including five nationally recognized trails (Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes, Northern Pacific, Route of the Hiawatha, Milwaukee Scenic and Centennial Trail) ideal for anyone’s needs.
During my time in Wallace, I took the mere 10 mile drive to the border of Idaho and Montana at what many would call a perfect day on Lookout Mountain. Sun shining and fresh powder all in 30 degree weather, hello paradise! For the first time I experienced the adventuresome aspect of snow-shoeing. After riding up the main lift I ventured down the backside of the mountain through the trees and untouched snow. Everything about the mountain and three hours of snow-shoeing epitomized what it felt like to find a hidden mountain secret. After seeing endless lifts with short lines and beautifully groomed runs I look forward to my next trip to truly take advantage of the slopes and experience what if feels like to be a “local” with the mountain all to myself!
Wallace, Idaho, a place you’ve probably never heard of, but a place you’ll never forget. Be sure to visit the Wallace Mining Museum & Visitor Center before you leave for fun facts, cool sights and endless information about the unique town of Historic Wallace.

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