The town was named for Chief Saltese of the Nez Perce Indians. The site was known by the early prospectors, trappers, and packers as Packer’s Meadow as it was a good campground and resting place on the difficult trail to the Mullan Road. 

It was later called Silver City and was a supply point for the many small silver and gold mines in the surrounding mountains. In 1891 its name was changed for the final time.

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