I have been meaning to visit the site of the rescue for years, but had not gotten around to doing so until two days ago. I had hoped to see not only the place where the rescue took place but also the “Educational Visitors Center” that supposedly exhibits, inter alia, the rescue cage that brought the miners to the surface. Although the Visitors Center claims to be open on Saturday, phone calls to it were answered only by a recording, and the door of the center was locked when I arrived at the nascent museum.
Fortunately, most of what I most wanted to see was out in the open and unobstructed by barriers. What I was able to view is documented below. (Click on images for a larger view.)
|An historical marker stands at the entrance to the rescue site.|
|Miner statue at the start of the path to the rescue site|
|Detail of miner statue|
|Rear of miner statue|
|View of the rescue site from the brick path that leads to it|
|An air shaft was drilled where it was thought the miners might be.|
Heated compressed air was then pumped into the narrow shaft.
|Rescue shaft from which miners were lifted one-by-one in a rescue capsule|
|The rescue shaft was drilled by rig #18 of Gene D. Yost & Son, Inc., a fact memorialized on this stone.|
The drill used by Yost was described as a “super drill.”
|When the bit broke as the rescue shaft was being drilled, another hole was started.|
It was abandoned when work resumed on the first shaft.
|This air lock proved to be unnecessary and was never used.|
|Another view of the air lock|
|Monument for Life plaque referring to the red oak and nine evergreens beyond it.|
|Monument for Life plaque with red oak and nine evergreens representing the nine rescued miners.|
|Sipesville Volunteer Fire Company. This is just down the road from the rescue site. Families|
of the miners were assembled here awaiting news of the rescue.
|Monument to miners at Sipesville Volunteer Fire Company.|
Its location can be seen in the previous photograph.