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Iconic Daly West mine headframe is repaired and ready to be raised


An historic mining relic – the Daly West headframe – has been laying on its side for the last seven years after collapsing. It’s been repaired and on Thursday, a celebration will take place when the headframe is lifted once again.

The Daly West headframe is a 42-foot-tall tower, weighing about 80,000 pounds that stands over a 2100-foot deep mine shaft now capped.

After years of neglect, Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History member Sally Elliott says the rotted wood timbers in the mine shaft caved in, and the metal legs holding up the headframe gave way.

It's still lying like a dead cockroach on its side. But I must say, Doug, and the crew that repaired that, that headframe, you can't tell where the patches are. It's just an absolutely beautiful job.

Using a funding mechanism provided for in the Flagstaff Development agreement, Doug Ogilvy, president of the Empire Pass Homeowners Association who is also a civil structural engineer, says the association got on board to help restore the headframe at a cost of about $440,000.

“They basically cut out the completely mangled pieces of the headframe and replaced those and did a lot of welding, a lot of bolting, putting it all back together, Olgivy said. “So, as Sally says, once it's on its feet, from 200 feet away you really won't be able to tell what's original structure and what's replacement structure. If you're up close, you'll see what what's bolts, and what's rivets, and understand a little bit more of the historical story.”

The Friends group is holding a fundraiser on Thursday and only a handful of the $500 per person tickets are left. People who attend will be able to witness two cranes lifting the headframe to a new location about 100 feet away from where it’s stood since the 1880s. Tickets to the event, which include lunch at the Montage, are online at parkcityhistory.org.

Elliott added that the Friends group will now move on to other projects, including the restoration of the Watchman’s cabin in Empire Canyon as well as the Silver King headframe at the base of the Bonanza chairlift and the Thaynes headframe near the Thaynes chairlift.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.