Latest News – October 29

Pumpkin Patch Sees Record Numbers

The 17th Annual Leadville Pumpkin Patch saw record numbers of costumed cuties yesterday as the Sixth Street Gym in Leadville was transformed into a Halloween-themed carnival for the little kiddos. From the ever-popular face-painting to the costume parade, it was another fabulous grass-roots tradition that still thrives in Leadville Today. Here’s a video of the highlights and thanks to the Leadville Pumpkin Patch Committee and all the volunteers that make it happen. 

Matchless Gets Support From El Pomar

The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) announced last Tuesday, Oct. 24 that El Pomar Foundation of Colorado Springs has awarded a grant of $11,000 to support rehabilitation of an iconic structure at the historic Matchless Mine.

The headframe stands over the last remaining open shaft on the mine’s claim and was used to raise and lower miners and ore. Parts of the structure are probably more than 125 years old. Intense sunlight during Leadville summers and heavy snows during long winters took a toll on the timbers, some of which were rotten beyond repair. Rehabilitation work on the Matchless Mine headframe was completed in September. The historic preservation project saved what could be salvaged and replaced what could not to ensure that the structure will still be standing in the 22nd century.

matchless-mine headframe copy

The National Mining Museum secured another grant from the El Pomar Foundation to restore the Matchless Mine head frame. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

The NMFHM’s Matchless Mine is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its association with 19th-century Silver Baron Horace Tabor and his second wife, Elizabeth “Baby Doe,” makes it significant to Leadville, Colorado, and the nation’s mining history. During the winter of 2014-2015, the site’s powder magazine was rehabilitated with money from the State Historical Fund, Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, and individual contributions.

HistoriCorps staff and volunteers performed the work on the headframe during two sessions that began September 11. HistoriCorps is a nonprofit historic preservation organization based in Denver that works to save historic structures on public lands and on private land accessible to the public. The NMHFM and HistoriCorps signed an agreement to preserve the headframe in accordance with recommendations in a 2010 Historic Structure Assessment and a 2013 Schematic Design partially funded by the State Historical Fund.

Matchless Mine Headframe

Restoration crews got right to work on the repair work to the historic headframe at the Legendary Matchless Mine this fall. The work will continue thanks to another grant which came in from the El Pomar Foundation. Photo: National Mining Hall of Fame

HistoriCorps personnel treated timbers that could be salvaged with epoxy and borate preservative. Timbers that could not be saved, including both of the 8”-by-8” diagonal legs (11’4” long) and the bottom of one vertical leg, were replaced with newly milled wood from the same tree species. Concrete pads were poured to support the diagonal and vertical legs, and the bottoms of the legs were treated with tar and borate.

Major funding for the project came in the form of a $13,500 challenge grant from the Climax-Area Community Investment Fund of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. The Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation provided a $2,500 grant. Former Senator Ken Chlouber encouraged auction bids that finally matched the Freeport challenge during an exciting live auction at the 30th Annual National Mining Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in September. Private donations also helped to make the project possible. Finally, Leadville’s Periodic Brewery has promised to donate $1 from each pint sold to the mine on Matchless Mine Mondays during October and November.

Information about the Matchless Mine can be accessed at www.mininghallofame.org.

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