Latest News – August 20

Matchless Mine Hosts BBQ Fundraiser This Saturday

If the ghost of Baby Doe were handing out social invitations, then this Saturday’s BBQ event up at the Matchless Mine should be one you accept. In celebration of the historic site’s recent restoration of the powder magazine, the famous mine once owned by Horace Tabor, is throwing a party on August 22.

The Matchless Mine will be the site of this Saturday's BBQ fundraiser and celebration of the restored powder magazine.

The Matchless Mine will be the site of this Saturday’s BBQ fundraiser and celebration of the restored powder magazine.

The Matchless Mine Cookout will be held this Saturday, Aug. 22, from high noon until 3 p.m. up at the mine located on E. 7th Street in Leadville’s historic mining district.  The event will showcase the restoration of the powder magazine as well as raise funds for the continued preservation of the site.  BBQ plates will range in price from $5-10 and include a surface tour of the Matchless. 

The highlight of the afternoon will be Forty Degrees North, an American string providing authentic mining tunes. A BBQ and live music – sounds like a great way to get in that last bit of summer before it’s gone for good. Weather forecasters predict it’ll be a great day for a picnic, so grab the family and head up to Leadville’s east side mining district for some historical fun!

As most know, the Matchless Mine is owned and operated by the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM). It’s anticipated representatives from History Colorado, President Ed Nichols and Vice President of Preservation Steve Turner, will be attending the event.  History CO funded the majority of the restoration of the powder magazine.

The historic powder magazine structure was recently restored by Older Than Dirt Construction of salida. Photo: Older than Dirt

The historic powder magazine structure was recently restored by Older Than Dirt Construction of Salida and is now back at the Matchless Mine. Photo: Older than Dirt

The Powder Magazine was recently restored Older Than Dirt Construction out of Salida. Over the past year, the company was skillfully restored this important part of Matchless Mine history. The company noted their dedication to the project on Facebook:

What an honor to be awarded the contract! Located in Leadville, CO, we knew that time was of the essence if we were going to get this little beauty out of the hillside and into our shop before the snow flew. Our scope of work is to excavate the Magazine, relocate it for the preservation work to be accomplished, build a retaining wall to stabilize the hillside, and then relocate the magazine back to her original location.

Here's a great "before" picture of the Matchless Mine Powder Magazine which was posted on Facebook by Johnny Johnsson. The restoration work is top-notch, come see it for yourself this Saturday.

Here’s a great “before” picture of the Matchless Mine Powder Magazine which was posted on Facebook by Johnny Johnsson. The restoration work is top-notch, come see it for yourself this Saturday, August 22

Be sure to check out this cool video from the construction company on their preservation efforts: LINK.

Last October the structure was put back in its place, looking as good as ever. According to Geologist and local historian Vince Matthews, the preservation of The Matchless Mine is becoming increasingly crucial.

“We are fortunate that History Colorado and the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum are helping Leadville preserve the Matchless Mine,” stated Matthews. “Far too many of our excellent, historic structures such as the Clear Grit Mine, Ibex-4 hoist house, and New Monarch ore bin are rapidly deteriorating and will not be with us much longer.” 

So folks are being encouraged to show up for some good food, a tour of the facility and also show their support, in attendance numbers, of Lake County’s commitment to preserving their mining heritage.

The blacksmith shop at The Matchless Mine site is likely the next structure to be targeted for restoration and depending on the success of current fundraising efforts the NMHFM hopes to be able to install interpretative signage at the site prior to the start of next summer’s tourist season.

Special thanks to the following business for their contributions in making this event happen. Scanga Meats, Safeway, Subway, People’s Bank, and First Mountain Bank. 

 

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