Some towns, like Wallace and Kellogg, are trying to market the communities and bring in more tourists by inviting different shows and festivals to the area.

Megaloads are also coming through Wallace now, carrying refinery equipment north to the Alberta oil sands. The people accompanying those loads have brought business to hotels and restaurants, softening the blow of the mine closure.

"This is just one of the bumps in the roads in the mining industry," Baker said.

The community is working together to push through these tough times. After three months of being unemployed, Mark Miller was hired to work at the Galena Mine, where he sees many other former Lucky Friday miners.

It's a job that pays the bills and keeps him close to his family so that he gets to keep playing catch with his boys as many in the Silver Valley wait to see when Lucky Friday opens again.

"I know some guys have made up their minds and said they're not going back," Miller said. "I know some that said they are going back. It's something you have to weigh it out for yourself."

For more than a century people have come and gone, lived through the ups and downs, never giving up on the valuable ore in the hills, never giving up on surviving and always looking for that silver lining.

Hecla Mining Company, meanwhile, says the plan is to restart production at Lucky Friday early in 2013.