Crumbling walls from a former company office, a now smokeless stack, an old wooden storefront and some charcoal kilns resting on nearby Canyon Creek are the bits and pieces left to mark the once thriving camp of Glendale.
A 10-ton lead smelter was built here in 1875 following the first lode discovery a few years prior by William Spur and then rediscovered by James BryFollowing the first discoveries, 10 tons of high grade silver-lead ore was shipped to Swansea, Wales for smelting. Towns included in the district were Trapper City, Lion City, Glendale and Hecla. Trapper City was the first settlement of the group but was short lived and abandoned as larger ore ant. Local legend says the town site of Glendale could just have easily been named Clifton. Both names were written on a wooden chip, it was thrown into the air and when it landed with Glendale face up, lady luck had decided on the name Glendale. Or, was that just a story passed down through the years? Glendale would grow to a population of 2,000.
The Hecla Mining District spread out for miles along the gulches of Lion Mountain. Why Lion Mountain? Well, when prospector Joe McCreary mistook a white mule for a mountain lion, his fellow miners razed him so badly, they called the whole mountain “Lion” to pick on their buddy so he could never live it down. Or, is that another tall tale?
Following the first discoveries, 10 tons of high grade silver-lead ore was shipped to Swansea, Wales for smelting. Towns included in the district were Trapper City, Lion City, Glendale and Hecla. Trapper City was the first settlement of the group but was short lived and abandoned as larger ore bodies were found on the mountain. Lion City sprouted up and grew to 500 people.
The original smelter at Glendale which produced one million ounces of silver and thousands of tons of lead and copper annually, succumbed to a fire in 1879. The Hecla Consolidated Mining Company built a new, larger one in its place under the direction of Henry Knippenberg. Knippenberg had the town of Hecla built about a mile from Lion City and it grew to a population of about 1,500 and included a church and a school. It was to be a less rowdy gathering spot than Lion City turned out to be. Knippenberg added the Greenwood concentrator halfway down the mountain a year later. Supplying charcoal to the smelting furnaces at Glendale was a large job as they were using 100,000 bushels of charcoal a month. To help power the nearby operations, Hecla mining ran its own 38 kiln charcoal plant at Canyon Creek north of Glendale.
When railroad services arrived in nearby Melrose, this greatly benefited the Hecla Mining operations by bringing many ore deposits within economical distance to the smelters and reduction works. Like so many others, the Bryant District was hit hard by the devastating drop in the price of silver. Production started to slow down and the smelters at Glendale were forced to close in 1900. But over the years, the local mines produced a whopping $22 million in silver and other metals.