Silver Valley Idaho

Some great words and a story from other authors about my favorite place on the planet: The notorious Silver Valley:

(I should run for Mayor of Kellogg)

"To the Old Dealers: In sympathy with their errors and admiration for their accomplishments."

Over 100 shafts have been sunk on ore-bearing veins in the Silver Valley since its discovery 120 years ago. Most played out, but a few paid out – and continue to do so. Fortunes were made and lost. The winners endowed chairs in places like the University of California and built mansions and skyscrapers up and down the West Coast; the losers repaired to their barstools to calculate their next play. In every real sense, the Silver Valley was, and remains, the Old West.

In 1900, Jim Wardner sold out his interest for $100.000.00 and went to Seattle, Washington. He purchased an island by the name of Eliza, imported black cats and went to the Seattle people and asked if he could have their stray black cats. They were overjoyed to get rid of the strays. He took them to the island, raised them and then he would kill them and took the hides and sold them to Easterners for $2.00 each. The Easterners were buying them like crazy and making fur coats and hats. Jim was doing a fantastic business because he called them "hood seal" fur. When the Seattle people found out he was feeding cats to cats, and that is known as "catabolism", they shut him down. Then he went to Fairhaven, Washington, started a banking business, water company and a logging company and then he built himself a castle. The castle still stands today and they've made a bed and breakfast out of it. He entrepreneured some more, lost his castle and his money. Then he went to Canada and started mining and logging and they named a town in Canada after him; Wardner, B.C.

For one hundred years, Kellogg was proud of it's Mining and Milling Heritage. Kellogg's Bunker Hill mine and smelter was known world wide as a leader in it's field. Then the unthinkable happened. Bunker Hill shut it's mine and smelter down, throwing thousands of men out of work.The town, wanting to change it's image, adopted an Alpine theme and built a gondola to the top of the Jack Ass Ski Bowl, renamed it Silver Mountain; changed Jack Ass Gulch to Jacob's Gulch, etc. etc. etc.But there are among us, people who believe that putting a duck in a chicken house and calling "chick-chick" will not change things. It is still a duck! It is still a chicken house.

Those vultures who were drawing chalk lines around the supposed corpse of the Silver Valley just a few years ago had better atone right now, either by the utterance of Hail Marys, or by singing a dozen full renditions of “O, Canada.”
Because 2006 was a year for the books in this venerable mining camp, it portends great things in 2007 for silver investors and silver junkies who know where the good stuff comes from.
Twenty-oh-six rang in with the liberation of the district's midsection by U.S. Silver Corp. from Coeur d'Alene Mines, and rang out with the acquisition by an upstart Canadian miner, Strategic Nevada Resouces, of the Crescent mine. In between, Canadians Aura Silver and Silverfields leased up chunks of ground on the western- and eastern-most flanks, respectively, of the camp.
Local miners New Jersey (NJMC) and Sterling (SRLM) advanced their goals – New Jersey by adding a leach circuit to produce dore at their mill instead of shipping concentrates all the way to Mexico; Sterling by poking more holes in the Sunshine mine's upper country, advancing the Sterling Tunnel, and by adding steadily to their work force, now over 30. Bunker Hill is thrumming along nicely, thanks for asking, and Hecla, well, that's a story in and of itself.

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