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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Peter Janni’s Silver Chimney

Photo by Rob Lavinsky

This story sounds almost like it is untrue, but if you’ve ever worked for an old country contractor you know you can’t tell them anything.  The principal character in this tale was a one Peter Janni that was born in Italy in 1874 that eventually came to America to work on the railroad.  Eventually he fetched up in Northport, Washington where he proceeded to buy a limestone quarry just south of the town.  Janni sold limestone all over the state of Washington out of his quarry.

This quarry is located in the tetrahedrite zone in northern Stevens County.  The ore deposits are found in vugs and a structure called a chimney where narrow veins of galena bearing large percentages of silver are sometimes found.  In 1953 the quarry workers at Janni’s quarry found such a chimney that measured roughly 5 x 6 feet on the second level of the quarry.

The workers followed the chimney down and shipped almost forty tons of ore to the lead refinery owned by the CM&S Company in Trail, British Columbia.  Once they had reached down the chimney for fifteen feet Janni came over to where they were working and told the men to, “Cover the damn thing up.”  The men pleaded with Janni to let them continue following the chimney, but Janni refused telling them, “Maybe someday we will dig her up again.”

Nobody has any idea what got into Janni’s head that day, but according to some old timers still living in Northport this rich chimney is still in the quarry where it is it is buried under tons of limestone still on the second level.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe he was stressed out and tired of working so much.