Pio Panieri was a lifelong resident of Roslyn, a coal mining mountain town in Central Washington State's upper Kittitas County. He was the son of Caesar Panieri, a first-generation Italian American immigrant who founded the Roslyn Bakery & Grocery. Pio helped operate the family business, taking over operations in partnership with his sister Lize Crestanello during World War II. He was active in a number of community organizations (e.g., Didley Club) and an avid amateur photographer, gardener, hiker, and outdoorsman.
In 2013, Pio Panieri's grandnephew John Crestanello contributed more than seven hundred digitized photographs to the Roslyn Heritage Collection managed by the Roslyn Public Library. These are part of a larger collection of photographic negatives taken by Pio from the 1920s through the 1960s. They offer an intimate portrait of everyday life in the ethnically diverse community of Roslyn, seen through the lens of Panieri's friendships, family relationships, and work and home life. The collection also documents the natural beauty of Roslyn's surroundings, including a large group of photos taken by Pio on his hikes throughout the wild and scenic backcountry of the Central Washington's Cascade Mountains.
Roslyn librarian Erin Krake describes Pio Panieri as "A respected business owner and well known member of the community." "Viewed as a whole, one gets a real sense of life in the Upper County, both then and now. I find it hard to express how these photos make me feel. Like there is a true connection between the past and present. I see the same things Pio saw and I think those same things are interesting and beautiful. I feel a closeness to this guy that I don't even know, and I feel closer to this community than ever before. All because of these photos. So, thank you for sharing that with me, with the library and our patrons, and with the world at large."
Cataloging assistance from Will Goodwin, Digital Projects Intern, 2014-2015.