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Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheel Saved

August 16th, 2017

A crew of construction workers have stabilized the leaning Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheel after an all-day project Thursday, where steel supports were used to reinforce the historical landmark in danger of falling.

 “The City of Jackson along with the Kennedy Mine Foundation was able to mobilize an amazing crew of volunteers to put the leaning wheel upright again,” said Jackson Interim City Manager, Susan Peters.

The leaning wheel was first addressed at a July 10 city council meeting. Over the Fourth of July holiday, the beam supporting the wheel gave way, causing it to lean dangerously back toward the rocky hillside to the east. For the next few weeks, it was only held by a couple of wires attached to trees, and it remained surrounded by signs and barriers warning the public not to get too close. 

Now after a more-than month-long fundraising effort, the Kennedy Mine Foundation and the City of Jackson have raised the funds necessary to complete the job and Thursday, August 10, were able to save and preserve an important part of our local gold mining history.

Beginning early in the morning, and working until after the sun had set, two large cranes were engaged to lift the wheel and install new supports.  

Bill Braun, Doug Ketron and the Campbell Construction crew worked more than 14 hours to lift the 40,000 pound wheel, suspending it using the cranes, and removing the damaged supports to install new steel supports designed and fabricated by Braun. The new stabilizing structure removes the immediate danger of collapse and buys time to develop a plan and raise money for restoration and preservation.

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