COEUR d’ALENE — The recent theft of crystals and antiques being stored until a Bunker Hill Mine Museum is developed has prompted a Coeur d’Alene businessman with deep Silver Valley roots to lend a hand. Greg Green, CEO of Fatbeam, LLC, headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, has pledged to donate $1,000 through the Greg Green Foundation to help support the creation of the museum.
“This community has suffered enough trials and tribulations over the years in its rich history of mining,” said Green. “They work hard and risk their lives to make a living with dignity, and to have part of their history stolen absolutely breaks my heart. After all, my grandfather Vincent Wolfe worked at Bunker Hill Mine, an immigrant of Germany.”
Thousands of crystals and Bunker Hill Mine artifacts, with an estimated value of roughly $1 million, were reported stolen Friday from a Kellogg residence where they were being stored by Bob Hopper Jr. Hopper’s father, also Bob, owned the mine from 1990 until his death in 2011.
“This is my family’s legacy here. We have sacrificed so much for this and to see it like this is just devastating for our family,” Hopper Jr. told the Shoshone News-Press.
Kellogg police on Saturday arrested one man in connection with the theft, Joshua Easley, 39, of Kellogg, and recovered what they believe to be 50 to 75 percent of what was stolen. Investigators said they believe others were involved in the crime, and the investigation is ongoing.
The stolen crystals, pyromorphite, have been found in abundance in the Bunker Hill Mine. Bob Hopper Sr., amassed a significant collection over the years.
Pyromorphite from Bunker Hill is popular among mineral collectors with larger specimens being offered for sale for thousands of dollars each. One online dealer’s Bunker Hill polymorphite collection includes a specimen being offered for $60,000.
“...This isn’t like just stuff that belongs to me, it belongs to the mine, it belongs to my family, and it belongs to this community,” Hopper Jr. said.
Greg Green, who was born in Kellogg, said he hopes his donation will be useful in helping restart the planned museum.