|Situated on Canyon Creek and founded in 1883 with the discovery of silver, Burke was named by its thirty miner residents in 1885. Although Onealville (meaning “one for all”) was suggested, the miners decided to honor local miner and politician J. M. Burke. When the U.S. Postal Department tried to change the name to “Bayard,” the residents scoffed at the plan, and the post office allowed Burke to remain as the community’s official title. Due to the town’s very cramped setting, Burke is often recognized as the Idaho community that has been featured on “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” twice!
This tiny mining town is only three air miles from its neighbor, Mullan, Idaho, but by road it’s 13 miles! In the early years (1884) the town situated in the narrow canyon barely held the miners that came seeking silver in the Tiger and Poorman mines. The Tiger and Poorman mines had to close in 1908 after exhausting their ores. Production of ore now occurs in the Star-Morning mine, which dates back to 1889. A 2,000 foot adit travels south for over two miles from the surface plant at Burke, and the production itself occurs over 8,100 feet below ground. This makes it the deepest lead-zinc ore body mined in the world. Production is estimated at about 1,000 tones of ore in a single day.