Smelterville was named for the massive Bunker Hill smelting complex which was located between Smelterville and Kellogg. The Bunker Hill Smelter produced silver, lead, zinc and other metals from ore pulled from the Bunker Hill and other Coeur d'Alene district mines. Mining operations in the district began in the 1880s. The smelter was built in stages beginning in the 1910s. The smelter complex eventually filled the entire area between Smelterville and Kellogg. Smelterville is much smaller than Kellogg and much younger. The town was named in 1929 and does not have a significant historic district. The Bunker Hill smelter closed in 1982 and has left a toxic legacy. The entire area including Smelterville is a massive Superfund site contaminated primarily with heavy metals. Remediation work is on-going. The area communities are attempting to reorient their economies to tourism and recreation. A ski resort has been built above Kellogg. A golf course has been constructed on the Bunker Hill smelter slag heap. These efforts seem to be successful so far. There has been very little effort made to preserve the area's mining history. Almost all of the smelter has been demolished. Some remnants of the zinc mill survive in Government Gulch just outside of Smelterville (photo above and below).
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