Celebrating Valley County’s Centennial

News |

Celebrating Valley County’s Centennial

This year, Valley County is celebrating its centennial. There has been so much change in the county over the last 100 years. Many individuals and events have contributed to the county’s evolution but the impact of mining is evident, particularly at the Stibnite Gold Project site.

Through the years, the Stibnite Mining District has experienced booms and busts. While the site hasn’t been mined since the late 1990s, we are looking toward the future. We believe restoration and mining can work together and we are in the process of permitting the site so we can once again resume mining operations and repair the environmental legacies left behind from years and years of mining.

The Stibnite Mining District gained national attention during World War II when the government declared it imperative to the U.S. war effort but its story started years earlier.

Miners first came to the area in the late 1890s, well before the county was officially established. They were on their way to Thunder Mountain but stayed in the district when they discovered gold, silver and antimony. However, the area was so rugged and remote it was incredibly difficult for these early prospectors. But their persistence paid off and by the late 1920s up to 150 miners were living and working at the site.

During World War II, antimony became an incredibly important mineral because of its use in ammunitions. From 1941 to 1945 Stibnite mined and milled more tungsten and antimony than any other mine in the United States. The Stibnite Mining District contained such large quantities of it that people were allowed to serve their country by working at the site. At the peak of the war, there were more than 1,500 miners in the district. They even had a hospital (the only one in Valley County for many years), a school, recreation center and bowling alley. Unfortunately, over the years, wildfires destroyed these historic buildings.

After World War II, operations at the site slowed down and many miners moved out of the area. Mining in the district continued sporadically from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Today, we are working on reawakening the site.

This year, as we celebrate Valley County’s centennial, we hope you will join us as we explore the rich history of the Stibnite Mining District and learn more about our plans for the future.