Sunday, June 26, 2022

From the Archives for May 19, 2022

| May 19, 2022 1:00 AM

“From the Archives" has featured mining stories the past few weeks in celebration of “Mining Idaho.” The Museum will celebrate “Mining Idaho” on Saturday, May 21, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. with programs, complimentary lunch and a tour through the Lazy Susan Mine.

Queen Mine

The Moyie Gold Copper Mining and Milling Company, Ltd was incorporated on Sept. 16, 1911. President Reid and Secretary-Manager Crocker, eager to have investors, sold 25,000 shares at $1 each. Dr. Ezra Esher Fry purchased 500 shares on July 27, 1912. The properties, under development for the company, were known as the Queen and Damon groups with thirteen unpatented claims.

William Price was in charge of the development work at the Queen Mine from 1912-1919. Located on Queen Mountain two and one-half miles west of Snyder on the Spokane International Railway, the mine had eight claims with three separate veins of galena ore. Five tunnels and one inclined shaft had been developed with many years of labor and at great expense to the company. The company boasted, “the Queen is one of the most promising silver-lead prospects in that district.”

By 1921, some of the unhappy shareholders began dumping their shares. An advertisement ran in the February 8, 1921 Herald: “For Sale Real Cheap — 1,000 shares Moyie Gold Copper Mining and Milling Co. Inquire at Herald Office.” In June, the stock was being levied by the bank, as the Moyie Gold Copper Mining and Milling Company had over extended their credit and was unable to repay loans.

Reid and Crocker, hoping to raise money from the stockholders, kept promoting the mine in July 1921. They assured investors that a crew of men was to be engaged at the Queen to renew the development. No work resumed.

The mining company, delinquent on loans, was told: “all stock will be sold at auction at the front entrance of the courthouse in Bonners Ferry on May 6, 1922.” At auction, there was no buyer. J. P. Macnamara, Treasure at the First National Bank seized one-half million shares. Queen Mine shut down.

In the fall of 1922, H.C. Nelson from Iowa leased the Queen from FNB. Nelson had a crew of men at work building a road from Addie to the mine; with hopes of constructing buildings. His goal was to begin active development of the several ore bodies that had been under development the past several years. His crew worked six tunnels and two shafts (approximately 1,400 feet). It was said, the veins varied from three to five feet in width and contained a good exposure of galena, tetrahedrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and pyrite, in a quartz and siderite gangue. Nelson’s development of the claims was hindered by the isolated location of the property. He did not renew his lease.

Although the property had lain idle for several years, in June 1948, an exploration program was inaugurated to investigate the veins. Only faint traces of the vein were present. The drilling program was suspended. The Queen has been idle since.

The Boundary County Historical Society and Museum, 7229 Main, Bonners Ferry, Idaho, sponsors this column.

Visit the museum Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or go online to the museum’s website at or the museum’s Facebook page for historical photos and stories, and to see upcoming events. The museum can be reached at or telephone 208-267-7720. Thank you for your continued support.

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