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A Montana sapphire fit for a king

The Reporter's Notebook


Meet the late Will Chaussee. On the outside, he was a cedar lumber owner-dealer. On the inside, he was a mountain man, and he owned a sapphire mine between Hamilton and Philipsburg, Montana.

He retired and annually invited me to his place up in the mountains, where we fished, explored a bit and told stories that were mostly true.

He had returned to Bothell on business and looked in on me at the newspaper there where I worked, and said, “Look what I found at the mine, a sapphire fit for a king.”

That started it, and for the next several month things were not the same.

He showed me the sa...

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