Latest Restorations – Fall 2017
Safety of the shaft house, over the years, has been an ongoing concern. Until this fall, the materials car, estimated as weighing 2-3 tons, was still suspended from the gantry in the shaft house. Hanging by a heavy duty iron link chain, it was a possible safety hazard due to deterioration of the supporting gantry structure over the years of non-use and exposure to the forces of nature/weather/moisture. The Houghton County Mine Inspector recommended alleviating this concern by either building a supporting structure underneath the car, or letting it down to reside on its back in the shaft house on a support made from pressure treated timbers. Proceeding with further work planned in the shaft house, depended first on the alleviation of the materials car safety problem. After carefully considering all suggestions and options for this project, it was decided that the best decision for safety and preservation was to lower the car.
Future plans include patching and repairing the metal siding, repairing the roof of the Captain’s office, and create a plaque/wall to honor the miners who died in the mines.
Our long range plans include restoring the shaft house, Captain’s office, and hoist house and open them as a museum.
We are excited to announce that we have made the Captain’s office handicap accessible. We now have a concrete parking area on the side of the building with a ramp going to the back of the building to accommodate a wheelchair. The front of the building was not an option, as that entrance is not as close to the ground and there is a small shed attached to the building which would be difficult to maneuver a wheel chair.
Painesdale Mine & Shaft, Inc. is pleased to announce that we have completed phase 4 of the Save Our Shaft House project. We have recently restored the windows of the shaft house to their original condition. We have also repaired/replaced the steps going to the Captain’s office.
In the late 1990’s, the main waterline from Painesdale to Hancock burst somewhere in the vicinity of Champion #4. As a result, the middle columns of the shaft house settled 8-12 inches. A settlement study has been done in order to find out if there is ongoing settling of the shaft house from that event.
Phase 1 of the restoration was completed in 1996. Corrugated metal was installed on the north and west walls of the shaft house. Phase 2 completed the project with corrugated metal on the south and east walls. Photos below show the shaft house as it was before and after phase 1&2.