NEWS FROM THE VALLEY
Dear Friends of the Panther Creek Valley Foundation
No.9 Mine & Museum
No.9 Mine and Museum had a great
year during 2006. Our membership has grown along
with new attendance records for the mine as well
as the museum. This was great but the down side
was that everything from insurances, to fuel
prices escalated and took away any additional
profits. But, between membership dues, donations
or grants, we are holding our own.
There were a lot of improvements done inside the
mine as well as in the museum and grounds. The
museum gift shop was enlarged with one third more
floor space. Our kitchenette was relocated and
updated. All this work was all done by volunteers.
Late winter and early spring, two sections of the
mine timbers in the gangways were replaced. This
is hard , heavy, intensive work. Mine timbers
usually have to be replaced every eight years.
It is a part of our mine foreman and mine
superintendents job to oversee the safety in the
mine, but, Safety, is everyone's main concern.
First, Last and Always!
In the latter part of the year, quite a bit of
refurbishing of the mine's escape way needed
extensive timber work. Being short handed with
qualified mine workers, we had to employ two
professional miners to replace close to 30
timbers. This is hard, dirty work. We were so
glad to have these two men available to do this work
for us. It was a Godsend!
Work inside the mine isn't seen or
noticed by the
general public. It takes a lot of hard work,
keeping up with the Safety in the Mine. Buying
pressure treated lumber also takes a big bite out
of our income, but it is stuff that has to be
done. Being fortunate that our president, Dave
Kuchta, owns a few acres of land with oak trees
on his property, he donated all the oak timbers
(30 plus) that were used in the mine this past
year. This was a big savings for our organization.
When the State Mine Inspectors come
in to inspect the mine, we must comply with their
wishes and or suggestions. There concerns are our
concerns and that is Safety in the Mine.
No. 9 Mine is very fortunate also to have had the
Old Lehigh Coal and Navigational Company replace
large areas of wooden timbers with steel and
concrete, during the years from 1931 to 1938.
This was done during slow time, or as they call
it in the profession, down time. This steel and
concrete work will (hopefully) last another 50 years.
Outside on the No9 property, various other work
was done to dress up the area along with
revamping displays of mine cars and equipment.
The grounds look great and we are going into the
year 2007 in great shape.
Through a $10,000 grant obtained by one of our
past staff member, Marie Ondrus, we had the main
parking lot paved. The original gravel parking
lot took a lot of extra work filling in the
potholes. During rainy days, mud and large
puddles of water weren't appreciated by tourists
coming to tour our mine and museum. Without the
grant, we couldn't have afforded to get the lot
paved. This is why it is imperative for our
officers, directors and members to work as a team
to get certain work done, being by hard work,
donations or grants.
We did have two members pass away, this past year
or so, that were very active in getting work done
at the No.9 Mine & Museum. They will surely be
missed. In fact, going through our records, close
to 12 active members, or people who helped start
and put together Panther Creek Valley Foundation
have died since that grand opening of the museum
back in 1992. Most of these members were very
dedicated to seeing that the P.C.V.F. succeed. It
is very important to get new members and
volunteers to join our organization to help
promote and keep the organization moving forward.
This winter (2006-2007) we have replaced and
installed three new 30' rails and some railroad
ties. Gauging the rails from beginning of the
mine to the staging area inside the mine is very
important. This all takes time and effort. The
bad part of replacing one of the 30 foot rail was
that the joint of the rail was under what we call
a small water fall. When it comes to mine work,
it seems nothing is easy.
In time, most of the rails and railroad ties will
have to be replaced in the mine. This will be a
humungous job and very expensive. It is important
to build up our funds so that in the future we
will have enough money for a matching grant,
if it ever becomes available.
We are still getting donations of mining
artifacts, books, photos, or tools etc. Every so
often we get something completely new or
different then anything we have or for that
matter have ever seen. We do need extra cases to
display some of the mining stuff we get. If you
have or know someone who wants to donate old
cases to the museum, please call us and let us know.
Last but not least, we are always looking for
certified miners, certified mine foreman, mine
electricians or just plain labors to work in the
mine. You must be 18 years of age to work in a
mine. Other wise, age is no problem! This past
year we had three members work in the mine
that were in there 70s.
Our annual Memorial Day Picnic will
be held Sunday, May 27, 11A.M .to ? Food
favorites such as halupky, halusky, bean soup BBQ
and hot dogs along with all kind of cakes,
cookies and pies will be available. Mine tours
will be scheduled throughout the day.
We appreciate any help behind the stand, or
donations of cookies, cakes and pies etc.
Our Annual Labor Day Picnic will be
held Sunday, Sept. 30 from 11 A.M. to ?
Panther Creek Valley Foundation (No.9 Mine &
Museum) is owned and operated by its membership.
It is a non-profit, charitable organization,
which has its goals to preserve the Mining
Heritage of the Panther Valley. Through our
organization, mining artifacts, mementoes and
tools are saved and preserved for posterity. If
anyone has any mining artifacts or mementoes,
that you might not want, please donate them to
our organization. Too much of this stuff, is
eventually discarded, scraped or sold on Ebay
which eventually leaves the area, no less the state,
never to be seen again.
It was our fathers and grandfathers that helped
the coal industry fuel the industrial revolution
in our country. Be proud of the fact that we are
a part of that generation of "Coal Crackers."
It is our heritage!
David Kuchta, President and Mine Manage
Officer and Directors:
Michael Knies Connie Johnson
Dale Freudenberger Steve Brunda
Joe Greco Alex Makita
Ann Williams Brian Timony
Bob Matalavage Director, Mine Foreman & Mine
(Mine Foreman & Director)
John Fauzio (Mine Electrician)
Jim Stone (Mine Electrician)
Mike Aukstakalnis (Mine Electrician)
2007 Mine Tour Season Begins on Fri. May 4th
This May, the No.9 Mine will be celebrating our
6th anniversary for Mine Tours. The days and
times of operation will be Friday through Sunday.
tickets start selling at 10 A.M. until 3:15,
which is our last tour of the day. Starting June,
we are anticipating giving tours on Thursday also.
These hours will be straight though until Labor
Day. Beginning September 1st through the end of
October, tours will run only on Saturday and
Sunday. Throughout the season, special tours are
available during the week for groups of 20 or more.
The Gift Shop is open during Mine and Museum
tours. The museum is open Wednesday through
Sunday, all year long. When the mine tours are
closed, the museum opens at 12:00 noon to 4 P.M.
Arrange Group Tours For Your School, Organization,
Employees, ETC. By Calling
(570) 645 7074
Come! Join Us! For an experience you will never forget!
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