Silver, Etc., Highland Bell Mine, Beaverdell, British Columbia
The silver veins on Wallace Mountain were discovered during 1897 near the Okanagan Valley, just 25km east of Penticton and the new town that sprang up beside the mining operations became known as Beaverdell. There have been several mines on the mountain over the years, The Lass, the Wellington, the Sally and the Bell. One of the companies involved with the Camp was Highland Lass Ltd. and thus the name Highland Bell, evolved. Back in the 1980's, I used to sell explosives to the mine and visited several times per year to provide sales and technical service. The Mine manager, the late Bruno Goetting was a mineral collector and I always stayed at his and Lilly's home in Beaverdell.
I have fond memories of the mine, the town and the people of Beaverdell. It was the first mining town that I'd frequented where you could see miners or supervisors walking down the street in their "diggers", complete with underground lamps on their way to or from home for lunch or at the end of the day. It was not a big mine when I vistited, operating at about 50 tons per day. The ore was in highly faulted veins that were composed of galena, sphalerite pyrargyrite and native silver. Sometimes the stope walls glowed bright red when you shone your miner's lamp on the ore. Pure ruby silver!! Unfortunately, the Highland Bell Mine ceased operations in 1991, 90 years after production started on the mountain.
All prices in Canadian dollars. For payment in US$, deduct 20% or multiply by 0.8.
Click on any of the following thumbnails to view a larger image of the specimen.