The long winter has ended in Wallace.
The last of a big pile of snow on the edge of town was reduced to a wet spot on the ground Friday, more than five weeks after the last snowfall in the Silver Valley.
So much snow piled up in the old mining town last winter that downtown merchants took bets on how long it would stick around.
City plow crews dumped and piled the snow across Placer Creek from the Wallace Inn. It disappeared around 11:45 a.m., said Scott Lasley, owner of the Silver Pine Trade Post.
The “guess the date” contest raised $205 for the Wallace Business Community Association, “and it made a horrible winter a lot of fun,” said Lasley, who inspected the melting pile daily.
Fellow merchant Shanna Hillman also won $205 for picking July 18 as the date of the pile’s demise.
Hillman admitted she had forgotten the dates she had chosen at $5 a pop.
She wasn’t sure what she’ll do with her winnings. “I drive a ’66 Mustang. That would just about fill up my 15-gallon tank,” she joked. “I could buy a couple gallons of milk maybe.”
Hillman, who has lived in Wallace 28 years, owns Indelible Tidbits, where she makes and sells black-and-white archival photos.
The winter may have been one for the record books, but it was enjoyable, she said.
“It was a damn long spring, but it was a wonderful winter,” Hillman said.
And it hasn’t vanished completely, she added. Another snow pile, in a shady spot at the corner of High and First streets, is down to the size of a desk.
“I think it will melt right before the first snowfall,” Hillman said.