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Old 12-01-2008, 08:21 AM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Originally Posted by techron
martin, i wen't up to grass valley with the model T club (stock Ts) 3 years ago. we visited both the musium/machine shop and the mine and owners house. did you by chance visit the mine? there was a BIG lot with all sorts of mine machinery/equipment, each one had a plaque telling the history and function of each piece. it was VERY COOL. there were also several large outbuildings for equipment repair and a large blacksmith shop. how do i know it's the same place? i have a mounting core drilling sample sitting here at my desk that says "empire mine state historic park
grass valley, ca"
Oh yes I saw it all, VERY COOL indeed! My family and I hit a LOT of museums. I will stop to see the biggest collection of sugar packets to historical sights that every American has heard of like the 6th floor museum in the Texas book depository in Dallas and look thru the window that Oswald shot Kennidy thru.

This Empire mine was a good one. Of course it was personally special for me because I ran into an old school buddy of mine from sixth grade! I was looking at the reflecting pool the mines owner had beside his house when this guy came walking up behind me and grabbed me around the waist acting like he was going to throw me in the water! I turned around and here was one of my old buddies all thru school, and a car buddy in highschool. It was very cool seeing him and talking about old times.

I am always interested in the blacksmith shop being my uncle was THE blacksmith of the town I grew up in and still had the shop operating when I was a kid. And besides, autobodymen evolved from blacksmithing so I always enjoy the blacksmith shop that you will find located at many of these museums dealing with equipment or farms.

One of the guys was telling me how every piece of equipment and tool in the shop (there were HUNDREDS) were owned by the pack service and numbered artifacts! He held a small die up and sure enough there was a number on it just like the dinosoar bones I have seen at other museums.

He said all the tools they were using making things for visitors were brought in and not part of the mines original equipment. But gave me a little wink and said "some times we will grab one and give it a whirl though" .

In this museum they have a model of the mines shafts. It is just a representation of the shafts themselves and looks to be made from something like 1/8" welding rod. It is HUGE, filling a 20x20 room. This model is held up buy a gray metal frame, with the shafts represented by different colors depending on the ore content and what not.

So I am looking at this thing and listening to the recording and it says there are 326 miles of shafts!!!! And my wife points out the "Safeway" and "Post office" signs on the top of the model, these mine shafts are under the town that is a bustleing shopping and dining area!

Old red, maybe it needs someone to fight to save that old machine and make a museum there! That is how these things get started is someone with some passion to get the thing going. If that is one thing I have seen in nearly every museum a section where they thank the person responsible for the saving what you see in that museum.

If you look on the map of the US you can see one of these "museums" and I got to meet the guy responsible for it! He is still alive I believe, a barber in a tiny town called Silligman in AZ. The "Artifact" that he saved and is now a "museum", the old Route 66! Yep, he and his brother who owned the "SnoCap" Icecream next door to the barber shop are responsible for the old Route 66 highway to be desinated a historic landmark! (click here)

This may be you calling, look into what it would take to start a movement to save that old equipment!

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