My first book was published in 2005, Cobalt: Legacy of the Blackbird Mine.

From the book jacket…

“Cobalt was Idaho’s last company town, rising in the shadow of World War II to supply copper and cobalt to the makers of warplanes and industrial machinery. Carved into a remote valley of the Salmon National Forest the town proved a challenge to settle with its harsh climate and remote location.

A sometimes native son, Russell Steele reveals Cobalt’s citizens’ struggle to build a community in the boom of the 1950s, then sustain it for over thirty years as the price of copper and cobalt rose and fell on the global market. Through his own memories of the town, detailed historical research, and enthralling narrative, Steele carries you through the life of a modern frontier town. His dynamic portrait details the rise of the Blackbird Mine, the harsh beauty of the Idaho wilderness, the environmental implications of mining, and the social realities of a 20th-century mining community.

Russell Steele grew up in Cobalt, establishing a bond with the region and the town in the 1950s, returning to visit in the 1980s and 1990s with his own family to recall the stories of his youth. Over the years he has researched and collected the accounts of multiple families who lived in Cobalt from 1949 to 1999, in order to chronicle…The Legacy of the Blackbird Mine.”

More book detail can be found on my Cobalt Memories blog.  The first printing in nearly exhausted, only six copies left on the shelf. We are working on a 2nd Edition for publication this fall.

3 Responses to Cobalt

  1. Russ Steele says:

    Only six copies left of this book until the second edition is published, which is under construction.

  2. Bob Wagstaff says:


    Where can I get a copy?

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