With everyone's fall schedules and the summer season coming to a close end, September was relatively quiet with the heritage group. Spirit YK member Walt Humphries and Ryan Silke spent a morning in Old Town going through an old shed once belonging to diamond driller John Larson, who passed away about ten years ago. And, oh boy, what a treasure trove! Enormous piles of old tools like wood saws and geology hammers, old magazines, newspapers, old claim maps. Of real interest were two gasoline rock drills in great shape, and several large water pumps. Just imagine lugging this stuff through the bush for a drilling job!
A large load of items were loaded into Walt's truck and taken over to the Commissary at Giant, a building to be used to store our artifacts. These were added to the items previously collected at Giant by the heritage group. A start on listing these items was undertaken by Ryan.
A few days later, Walt and Ryan departed for a 2-week prospecting trip to Gordon Lake. During this stay, the two explored the many old mine sites and prospector camps on the large lake. Many interesting artifacts were brought back. A forest fire swept through the east side of Gordon Lake in 1998, and several abandoned mine sites were destroyed. Ryan has been convinced of the beauty of Burnt Island and Spirit YK may move to have the island and it's old mine site designated a northern heritage site through the NWT Mining Heritage Group.
All through the month, Ryan Silke spent time at the old Ptarmigan mine dump, Tin Can Hill, and the NegusVille area collecting old tin cans and bottles that could be displayed at a future museum. The thing with digging through these old trash piles is that the regions dry climate makes for great preservation of it's buried treasures. Often, bottles would still have readable labels on them, and tin cans would show little sign of rust and also still have excellent labels. Walt and Ryan also collected bottles up at Gordon Lake. All of this collecting paved way for many trips to our Giant warehouse.
The heritage group met on September 18th, and planning for the 2001 Geoscience Forum began. New group member Gord Piro shared some fund-raising ideas, including calendars and mugs. We are all gratified by his offer to design and coordinate publishing these items. With momentum for fixing up buildings at Giant picked up, raising a bit of cash and awareness of our group will be important.
Meanwhile, the roofing project seems to be delayed again. It will be required to patch the roofs of the A-Shaft Powerhouse, Hoist Room, andHeadframe to prevent interior rot from developing in the coming years. A little bit of maintenance now will mean fewer headaches later. Plans to start moving core out of our warehouse are underway, which will be a big project and will require a work party with volunteers.
The priorities of our group are:
1) create mugs and calendars in time for 2001 Geoscience Forum
2) clean out warehouse at Giant Mine