The New water delivery company is working well. Bob is my delivery
guy and he is quite personable and watches my water needs and never
has let the house or the cattle run out of water. I ordered fuel
oil for the house furnace today and found that OVCC was paying for
my fill up. I was really surprised and glad they have come up with
help for my cost of heating the house with the broken ceilings.
This is what I am having to contend with every time we get a cold
night (see pictures). Water was frozen Feb 18th and 19th again.
No other water is available for the cattle than this. Note that
there is an overflow (white pipe in middle of tank) that is supposed
to keep enough water flowing to prevent freezing. OVCC has not been
proactive in getting electricity to this site to prevent freezing.
A heater coil is inside the tank but not connected. Our cattle are
totally dependant on water from this one tank but before mining
they had water from a 20 gallon a minute water tank I installed
in 1977 and the overflow from that watered a wetland and a creek
that is now dry.
We now have a new water delivery service. D.O.V.E.S, LLC.
They are very dedicated people, local men and they are very careful
with the hoses. They do not do the annoying practice of using a
wooden stick to check the level of water in the big tanks. They
do not let the tanks run over but have a ladder up the side and
the man meters the water input and cuts off the supply before it
runs over and down into the insulation around the tank. They are
also very careful to not drag the hose through the dirt and then
fill the tank. This was especially annoying when they filled the
tanks in the cattle lot with all that manure between the tank and
the truck. I suppose a little of that crap would not be too harmful
but it is the idea of it. Again, the new guys are really doing a
good job. They are getting a quick turn around with the water truck
as they fill from Belmont County, not going all the way back to
Wheeling (25 miles) to refill after each load. Also, OVCC has ordered
two truckloads of limestone for the driveway to the cattle tanks.
They did this without me complaining about the trucks cutting up
All of a sudden OVCC is being pro-active in anticipating our needs
for water and driveway stone.
The stock tank was frozen over again. I took photos of it with
my ball-peen hammer laying on top of the ice. I note that my camera
time dates these images with the wrong day but it is a new one to
me and I cant get the AM or PM changed. The date is OK but
is 12 hours behind in all my pictures. Sorry, but if you see the
date on the pictures I just do not know how to get it changed but
I guess it would make sense if you are looking at a picture that
the date says 10 at night but the sun is shining like morning. Anyway,
the ice was so thick the cattle were not able to drink until the
ice was broken.
Same story! It is getting quite cold at night and the water overflow
is not enough to keep the tank from freezing. No word from the electric
people about getting the heater hooked up.
Guess they were getting my vibes as Erb Electric came out and dug
a hole in my field.
That would be for the pole near the tanks. They got a cell phone
call from someone and filled in the hole and left.
Another issue has occurred. The downstairs bathroom door will not
close enough to fasten from the inside. Also, more insulation came
down along with more plaster in the upstairs bedroom above the kitchen.
I also noticed additional hairline cracks in several of the other
rooms. This seems to have been another episode of subsidence in
the direct area of the buildings as the wood and coal house seems
to be more twisted and siding on the north side is bulging out.
One of the little square original wavy glass windows (original 1863)
popped right out of its frame and fell on the frozen ground and
Dr. Jeff Reichwein stopped in for a visit. He said there was no
news on the fate of the artifacts taken from the site before mining.
He had been in a meeting with Steven Avdakov and the SHPO office.
They wanted a revision on the restoration plan to include the drainage
around the house. This will be done and submitted for final approval
by SHPO. Steven A. had sent me an email that he had been down with
the flu and had missed getting back with me with the restoration
people who will submit a bid.
Steven Avdakov of Heritage Architectural came today. We discussed
the bid process about the building complex restoration. He also
took note of the additional subsidence damage to the wood and coal
house. He took pictures and wrote up a report in his notes.
Mr. Tom Pulay (ODNR-DMR field man) came out at my request to look
at the wood and coal house, new damage to the barn and milkhouse
floors and the slips at the stock tank. He has indicated this is
all longwall mine damage.
He also observed the markers placed last winter for the electric
poles that were never put in. We are well past freezing now but
this will have to be done before next winter.
We got three bidders on restoration of the house and summer kitchen
and wood and coal house.
I showed the following people around the longwall mine affected
Mr. Wm Bowers, OMC company, Ron Pletcher, Durable
Slate Co., Charlie Troyer Durable
Slate Co., Jon Smith, Allegheny
I am aware of all of these contractors and any one of them is well
qualified to do the restoration.
Also Steven Avdakov, Heritage Architectural, and Claude Luke, Ohio
Valley Coal Company.
John Thiry of Keystone
Waterproofing came to also look at the property.
Later, Jamie Vosvick of Arch.Con. Midwest came to check the area
around the buildings to see about bidding on the archaeology part
of the bid.
While working in the hayfield near Shirley's house I came across
more suspected subsidence holes in the field. They were not there
when I mowed hay on the 16th of June.
It has now been two and a half years since mining under the Historic
James Kinney building complex. There are gaps in all of the ceilings
upstairs that allow bats to come through into the bedrooms. Walls
are still cracked, basement floors are still gaping open just like
they did at the first day of mining. The house leans to the SW as
well as most of the structures at the complex. The artifacts removed
from the property before mining have not been returned. The reports
that were associated with the archaeological investigation that
were needed before the chief could allow mining were never filed
and mining was done in violation of this requirement. Valuable artifacts
have been removed from the property and it seems that OVCC that
hired the work done cannot get them back for me. I saw a preliminary
report that was so flawed that a high school student would have
gotten a failing grade on it. One of the large arrow points was
even pictured as a little flint and the location of its origin was
not correct. I have advised SHPO and the state archaeologist of
As Shirley finished raking the pasture hay on the NE pasture lot
she came through a wet place that has developed very recently. I
mowed the field two days before and did not see it. It is well up
on the hillside and no seep springs have ever been associated with
I got a reply from the National Register of Historic Places about
the condition of the Water Table Base Stone at the NE foundation
of the James Kinney house. Since it is broken now in three pieces
I am wanting it to be replaced with a new sandstone cut from Belmont
County stone rather than just glueing it back together. NRHP is
placing all this information in the file of the Historic James Kinney
Today I got a letter from Gov. Bob Taft who is concerned with this
same issue, he is directing the SHPO office to take immediate action
to resolve this problem. His letter was sincere and right to the
point. I expect to see some action soon on this.
I took digital and 35 mm pictures of the 300-400 year old white
oak tree in our virgin forest that is dying. This tree is on the
premises of the 58 acre area of the National Register of Historic
Places James Kinney Farmstead it is an area that has
never had a saw taken to it and it abounds with very old oaks and
a few other large hardwood species. These trees were here long before
our country was a nation.
Since the tree is dying from the top down it is indicative of lack
of water at the roots. The longwall came under it two and a half
years ago and the nearest small spring went dry immediately then.
I believe that spring would have indicated a perched aquifer for
the area. Very large trees such as in this old growth stand are
very dependant on these underground pockets of water that accumulate
from rainfall and by this system of available water it is possible
to tide them over during dry periods. We have had a moderately dry
summer and with the history of longwall mining to deplete most springs,
wells and aquifers it seems to me that this is a casualty. Trees
large as this are much too large for sawmills and the value to us
as owners is that this is a very unique business attraction to our
farmstead, one that people come from may miles to see and enjoy.
Dysart woods is nearby and in fact the Red Trail of Dysart Woods
is visible from this old growth stand. Our trees are more accessible
than Dysart as a Township road is near and the whole woods can be
seen by the moderately handicapped person (cane or walker) it does
not involve going over bridges, across streams or up or down serious
terrain. I have notified Ohio Valley Coal but they have not made
a response. I have taken the liberty to have several forestry experts
to view the situation. One visited it this week and his conclusion
is same as mine. Others are being invited to give an opinion also.
A meeting was held here with John Thiery, Jon Smith, Tom Anderson
of Allegheny Restoration and Steve Avdakov. This was a general meeting
to discuss the scope of the restoration. There will be nothing started
until the proposed restoration is approved in writing by SHPO. Today
the coal company volunteered to help keep me safe by bringing a
water cooler, dispenser and three big bottles of water, I had not
asked for it but their contractor brought it and put it in the summer
kitchen for me. It will be handy for the restoration workers when
they work here too.
8/18/2006 - 8/19/2006 (see
This was an event that happened in the middle of the night so I
am listing it as 18th or 19th. I heard a very loud CRACK
under the floor of the upstairs hall. There is no way to see what
broke in there but it is an area that is suspended over the downstairs
hall ceiling. I thought I was done hearing things like that from
SHPO (State Historical Preservation Office) were here most of the
day. They were: Lisa Adkins and Dr. Dave Snyder from SHPO and Steve
Avdakov and archaeologist Jamie Vosvick. My son Dave, an engineer
from California was also here and had input in the discussions about
the proposed restoration.
9/4/2006 - 9/8/2006
Archaeologists Jamie and his boss Chris Jackson performed an investigation
of a number of plots around the house and along a proposed drainage
line. I guess I should not have been surprised but they found several
Native American artifacts as well as what looks like old square
nails, slate with square holes, interesting looking stones, some
kind of a clam shell pieces that may have been used by Indians.
Jamie explained that the projectile point he found had been broken
from a sideways impact with something solid, maybe thousands of
years ago. Very, very interesting. They left the material from the
diggings in the summer kitchen so I could photograph them over the
weekend. Jamie invited me to come to the Cockayne house in Moundsville
where he is donating his weekends in cataloging the contents of
an old, old house full of belongings that date before the War Between
the States. Truly a treasure. I felt honored to be invited to see
it. it is not open for public display and a lot of cataloging needs
done yet. I was able to identify several farm tools for Jamie but
he has a good handle on the other items. It was like stepping back
into the early 1800s.
I was checking on the progress of a new neighbor who bought the
farm to the NE of our property I had driven the Ford 7710 tractor
down as close as I could to the line fence in our hay field. The
new neighbor has been cutting the timber from that whole farm and
after deforesting it he hopes to sell parcels of it to hunters.
(not a good thing as they will just hunt on us too like happened
on our Harrison County farm). Anyway, I almost turned the tractor
over on the longwall mining slips in the field. I had got out of
the cab and walked the line fence and found to my relief that no
one was cutting our timber in the area but I could not help but
notice a 100 foot long by 20 foot deep slip caused by the longwall
on our neighbors property to the north. It had taken down a fairly
nice hickory tree and the slip had come close to the creek. I crossed
above the slip and went down to the creek where I had usually had
good travel through the woods. This is the place where the subjacent
seam of coal (we own it) lies in the creek bed and has been level
as a floor, with clean, black, fossil laden coal that was always
so clear of any other rocks until the natural rise of the creek
exposes the rocks that lie over the coal seam. Only this time the
coal has been broken up into chunks, some places it is heaved up
and out of the floor of the creek and water is running down in the
cracks to who knows where? Subsidence has apparently disrupted this
seam of coal to the point that it is not likely to be salvaged.
I will try to find the elevation of this seam of coal and determine
which Pittsburgh coal it is but I do know that it must be the 4
or 5 foot seam. Recently while in Columbus at a Farm Bureau Leadership
conference we listened to the two men who are running for Governor
of Ohio and both of them are quoting the same idea that Ohio has
250 years of coal left and that we should be making it into gasoline
and diesel, etc. I do not think they know that longwall in lower
seams is going to make it very had to get thousand of acres of coal
mined in the seams above due to subsidence and degradation due to
silting and oxidation by opening cracks in those seams. In most
cases these seams are not owned by the company doing the longwall
mining. Their permits proclaim that they do no damage to subjacent
seams but what I saw today flies in the face of that. 250 years????
I really doubt it!!!
Today after church I was upstairs and tried to open the SW bedroom
door and found it was stuck tight. It had been OK just yesterday.
I wonder if restoration will involve cutting a part
of the door off so it can close? No one seems to be interested in
trying to get the house level again!
I took Tom Pulay (ODNR DMR) on a tour of our old growth forest
to see the dying white oak tree. I contend that lack of ground water
because of longwall mining has caused its problem. We also observed
the closest developed spring that dried up exactly at the time of
mining. I contend that this spring would be an indicator of a perched
aquifer that giant oaks like ours need to survive during the dry
seasons. We also took a walking tour of our Northeast quarter section
that has a lot of field slips. We noted, and Mr. Pulay used his
GPS to get the exact location of the large slip that came down from
the neighbors property along with some of his trees and damaged
our line fence, in fact wiped it out. Neither of us run cattle next
to each other so it went undetected since mining. Several of our
neighbors trees died as a result of the slip. So much for the coal
company's claim to have never killed any trees by longwall mining,
huh! The GPS device also showed that this area was only about 90
feet above the longwall mine where a 6 foot seam of Pittsburgh #8
was removed in 2003. At this level of elevation there is a 4 foot
seam of Pittsburgh #9 that is not owned by the coal company. It
lies in the creek bed and is easy to see as it is exposed by the
meandering stream. This creek had very little water in it and Mr.
Pulay pointed out places where the small flow of water was going
down cracks in the stream bed. The coal seam that was exposed is
now badly ruptured and not all level as it had been before mining.
It looks like a giant mole had burrowed under some places and heaved
this seam of coal asunder. Again, so much for the coal company and
ODNR claiming that no damage comes to coal seams above the longwall
mine. As a young man I helped my family mine coal in Harrison County
and when we encountered bad coal it was always near the surface
where air and water had run through it and ruined the quality. We
sold and used house coal from our family coal mine. I would not
say I am an expert but it looks like the quality of the coal we
own on this farm has been badly compromised and would be of very
little value for some future mining operation unless they got to
it very soon, before it degrades by air and water siltation and
leaching. I can see that the coal company that took the coal seam
they owned did not do us or the future of mining any favor by rubbleizing
the seam of coal that they did not own. It is pretty obvious from
this little tour we took today that ruining a 4 foot seam of coal
to get a 6 foot seam does not make good mining sense. It only made
sense to the company that did this mining that they could get away
with this without any penalty of having to pay for the Pittsburgh
#9 seam they ruined in most of this permit area. Both seams are
very close to the same KWH value per ton and would sell for the
same on the market.
Mr. Pulay and I continued up the slope into the old hay field and
found many slips and subsidence cracks. He said he would contact
the coal company to have this area leveled back to pre-mining condition.
I had a scheduled meeting with Mr. Jon Smith of Allegheny
Restoration, Cathy of Advakovs team, Claude Luke of OVCC and myself.
We made plans to work on the old James Kinney house. I understand
that a verbal agreement has been reached with SHPO and the above
parties to get the work done according to National Historic Standards.
They indicated that cement work on the basement floors will be the
first order of work in another week or so.
Mr. Jamie Vosvic of the archaeological team came today and brought
all of the artifacts found in his investigation he said a full report
will be sent in several weeks but the analysis of the items found
takes a little while but there was no need for him to keep them
any longer. Oh how I wish the original archaeologists hired by the
coal company had been as up front and sensitive to the historic
property. I never got anything back and there was a lot of Native
American artifacts that would sell for good money on the market
and they kept them and still did not finalize their report which
was due before mining could legally be done.
Mr. Luke has had a 30 foot long goose neck mobile home delivered
to my back yard and the guy who brought it has set it up to live
in. It is hooked up to my electric but is otherwise self contained.
It actually is pretty nice for a 14 year old trailer as every thing
works except the radio. No big deal but someone had taken a built
in radio or entertainment center out of it and the delivery guy
apologized for it. Everything works and it is clean.
We had our first Belmont County Farm Bureau Government Affairs
meeting tonight. The topic was Oil and Gas production in eastern
Ohio. Mr. Joe Hoerst of ODNR was the speaker. I asked him if the
O and G contract allowed the drillers to inject CO 2 deep into the
earth in the permit area on our farms what would be the danger of
mining coal or other minerals above it. He said that the injection
process seemed to stabilize the gas but he was worried about some
of the small but ever present earthquakes we have in Ohio and thought
it might be a problem for miners who were working above such an
area that was injected.
I set out a Radon detector in the basement.
I collected the Radon detector and sent it in for analysis.
Allegheny Restoration brought in a large dumpster and a large storage
container for items that will have to be moved out of the house
while they work in the farm house.
I was contacted by one of the people who will be helping me with
moving some of the contents of the James Kinney Farmstead tomorrow.
These will be students at the college who are in the restoration
I had help today getting things moved in the house prior to plaster
work. Furnitre etc. was moved to the big sealed metal storage unit
More stuff moved. The crew is breaking up longwall damaged cement
floors in the milkhouse.
More stuff moved. Crew finished milkhouse floor. Some footer was
found to be cracked also. The milk parlor was built as half a herringbone
8, built as the 2nd one in Belmont county in early 1960. This milk
parlor was also damaged but we did not know because of the paper
we had collected for a 4-H paper drive and the never got it removed
years ago. The radon Test report came by urgent e-mail today. We
had a 4.4 Piccocurie level in the basement. I discussed this with
the project architect and the feeling was that we needed to take
a 2nd reading. I had another radon kit that I put in.
We moved the N.E. bedroom material. One of the crew moved the OVAS,
Inc. room full of Tag-Sav-R parts and equipment into the wash room.
The crew cut out a 2 foot by 2 foot section of that floor with a
carbide saw for the architect (same was done in the milk house previously.)
Restoration was started today in the NE parlor room.
Derrick Smith and Luke spent most of the day pulling off old wallpaper
and paint in the NE parlor room. This had the effect of exposing
the hidden cracked plaster. One interesting thing happened today
when this was done. One place on the wall that had only been seen
as an outline of a box under the paper was taken out and a partial
copy of a 1924 Cleveland Plain Dealer paper was found under the
wall paper. It had pictures of Flappers and an ad for
a Locomobile. The suspected hidden box did not turn out to be a
wall safe but just a series of wooden blocks that were replacing
bricks in the wall. These were covered by an inch plank and the
newspaper was over that. This must have been done to allow a heavy
wall hanging item like a large and heavy mirror or very heavy picture.
The newspaper was saved and many photos were taken of the wall as
this mystery unfolded. We got information today from Lisa Adkins
of SHPO today on how to handle the high radon levels. All work in
the basement has come to a halt due to the high radon reading. The
second test will be mailed to the lab when the exposure time is
The Allegheny Restoration Co. (ARC) crew started work on the wood
and coal house after finishing removal of wall paper in NE parlor.
The room directly above it did not have wall paper which speeds
up the preparation of plaster examination and work. Two very wide
(by 2006 year standards) boards were removed from the wood and coal
house west side. They were about 20 inches by 1 inch thick and 10
feet long. The upright had been torqued by the longwall when the
building went on a twist at the time of mining. The upright is 10
feet tall and 8 by 8 inches and made of white oak. We tried to find
a replacement from the old sheep barn that blew down in 1996 across
the road. It does not seem likely that any will be used. The next
thing we will do is look for a tree on the James Kinney property
that can be cut and then sawed into the right size. We also found
that the 1830s wooden corn crib across the road had a similar
break and a similar size will be needed for it too. Two Federal
Forestry experts came today and looked at the virgin forest. They
measured trees and took data on the woods. One large oak is rapidly
dying in that area. My contention is that it is dying because of
lack of water as the longwall mine drained the aquifer under the
stand. The closest spring has been dry since mining. These huge
200 to 400 year old oaks need plenty of water. This area is within
sight of the Red Trail of Dysart Woods.
Meeting with Steven A. and Cathy Sentor and Allegheny Restoration
Co. and Claude Luke of OVCC. They came to monitor the progress of
the restoration. Dr. Ray Hicks and son Tim came to look at the virgin
forest. They will give a report to OVCC and me when it is completed.
I injured by left leg in a fall coming back from the woods. Will
have to cancel my trip to see the OSU team this Saturday.
Tim Hicks is a graduate of WVU in Forestry and Grad School at Penn
State and lives in California. It was good to see Dr. Hicks again
and to meet his son today.
The ARC crew has taken out the last of the broken cement from the
basement. They drilled a trench through the basement floor from
the hall to the SW basement room for RADON ventilation which will
tie to that room vent system. More plaster around cracks in NE parlor
room was removed today. Broken bricks behind the cracks are now
apparent. Much of the problem area is above the mantel and That
is where the furnace leaked CO gas into the house after mining and
I got sick from it. Other places are above and around windows which
seem to suffer most from longwall mining on these old houses.
The 2nd RADON report was still high and the average of the two
is 4.15 pCi/L More deaths of lung cancer are from RADON than anything
11/6/2006 (see pictures 11/1/2006,
Bricks have been marked for removal and 18 were found in the NE
parlor room alone. Outside work is going well. They have trenched
around much of the house foundation and are laying perforated plastic
pipe to drain water away from the house. It is a muddy process to
say the least. They got it all connected today and are starting
to backfill. The pipe ends down over the hill past the south side
of the barn. Jamie Vosvic is the archaeologist in charge and has
done a lot of collecting. His eyesight is fantastic. He saw an object
in a track hoe bucket of dirt and stopped Derrick to look, it was
a little toy truck with the cement mixer part missing. In the next
bucketful of dirt he say the missing part. What eyesight! It is
a small mathchbox type truck but made in England. It
is being added to the collection of artifacts he has found and tagged.
These will be returned to me when he has identified each one and
written up a report. I will get a copy of the report some weeks
after the return of the artifacts..
Went to vote. Looks like the Democrats have swept the house and
senate as well as many offices in OH, which means we will have a
Democrat for the new Governor of Ohio come January.
This was meeting day for the monitoring group which consisted of
Kathy Siemens, Claude Luke, Jon Smith, and I. We brainstormed the
radon issue. It was decided that the 4 inch radon tube under the
floors will connect to a vertical pipe in the unused SE chimney.
Due to a fire in 1956 before we bought the farm the chimney was
damaged by excessive heat. Thus it has not been used since I came
here in 1957.
The front portico steps were put back in place. Good job in lining
them up by Derrick and the skid steer.
French drain trench is totally filled in today. Troy Migli and
I cut a live white ash tree to replace the 8 by 8 inch by 11 foot
timber in the wood and coal house and corncrib. Our meeting went
well today. Drainage digging at the barn was decided on as the course
of action to drain the downspouts from the main barn. The barn survived
the vertical fall of 3 feet 9 inches well but the milkhouse was
damaged more. The brick mason was here today and got busy replacing
brick on the outside of the house and summer kitchen about
100 of them. The inside bricks will be replaced by ARC people before
All of the trenching at the barn for the downspouts has been completed
and seeded with straw covering. Some of the front of the house yard
was also seeded. More leveling of the filled in trench around the
house for the French drain was done. Silveo, the stone mason came
and started work on the stone basement steps. Tom Anderson (ARC)
and Blain came out to inspect the progress with Jon Smith leading
them through the house, etc. Silveo and his helper who is also an
accomplished stone mason are hard at work taking out the massive
entrance stone that was pulled out of line by the Hughes Corp. people
when they put steel bands around the foundation of the house prior
to mining. Troy Migli and I cut the ash tree into logs that will
be taken to the sawmill to make the uprights in the two outbuildings.
We had to spend considerable time in clean them up as the big ash
tree fell on the field road through the woods. Amanda and Jon Smith
worked late on the scratch coat of plaster that goes
on over the exposed brick in the NE parlor. After the scratch coat
a burlap coat is put on and plastered into the first coat. Then
a finish coat of very smooth plaster is put on last to make the
final coat. Houses of this era had this three coat of plaster technique
and since this house is on the National Register of Historic Places
it is being restored as per historic methods. In this day of modern
house building a single plaster board is put over the studs and
it is taped between sections of wall board, painted with a thin
plaster like mixture which hardens quickly and then sanded to make
a smooth wall when painted. The modern method is quick and appealing
to the eye but it is the accumulated science of the old system.
A close look at the modern wall board or plaster board will reveal
three separate systems too. The plaster is simply sandwiched between
two paper like coverings with the finish coat of paper
on the domestic side.
The ceiling of the parlor room is hard work as they are about 10
feet high. Amanda has done most of the scratch coat today, this
is hard work but little Amanda seems not to mind the height or the
The basement fan is running all the time, the constant readout
meter shows a decrease from 4.4 pCi/L to 2.1 pCi/L.
Radon meter was up to 2.2 pCi/L today. Since this is an accumulated
reading of the last 48 hours that means there was a spike upward
during that period.
Today the basement stones were all placed back to a position by
Sileo, the stone mason. My eye tells me it off by about 2 inches.
He said he was guided by the shadow and that he could
see a little difference in the foundation stone color behind it.
I still have the wrought iron top bar that fit into a notch before
but it is now two inches too short. I dont think that old
iron bar shrunk any! No big deal, however as I will get a new, longer
bar for the top of the doors to rest on and now the passageway will
be a little wider and that is not a bad thing. I do like the job
Silveo did as it is very professional with each stone placed back
into its correct place in the wall and the top (BIG STONE!) was
hoisted on top and is level. Quite an improvement.
The brick masons finished the outside brick replacement of the
house and summer kitchen today the ARC guys put the back porch stones
back into their correct place today an they did a great job of leveling
and placement. It had been unhandy to go in or out of the house
while all the trenching was going on and these heavy step stones
were stored out in the yard. Some of the guys will work tomorrow
even though it is a Friday and they usually do not work that day.
Radon meter went up to 2.3 pCi/L when I checked it this morning.
I do not know what caused the spike but even at that level it is
not that dangerous. The fan is still running in the basement.
Derrick and Luke replaced more of the original walk stones in the
back yard. By three PM they had all of the stones replaced and set
between the porch and summer kitchen.
Radon meter went up again to 2.4 pCi/L
Radon was reading 2.3 pCi/L this morning.
More of the walk stones were uncovered from the layer of dirt from
the trenching and put back in their proper place. Now it is just
the same pattern as the James Kinney family walked on back in the
1860s! Our Belmont County Farm Bureau had an open house for
the new building in Barnesville. I am president of the Belmont County
Farm Bureau and welcomed about 30 people to the new facility with
is on State Route 147 and of course on the history-steeped Drovers
Trail of the 1800s. I conducted the monthly BCFB meeting this
evening in which we approved the finances for the new building.
I have been informed that I will be going to the national convention
of the American Farm Bureau Federation in January.
Radon was 2.2 pCi/L today.
I woke up in the camper supplied by the coal company at 2.30 AM
when the propane ran out and the furnace quit. It was 8 degrees
above freezing in the camper when I realized the furnace had quit.
I had not taken much for blankets to the camper so I had a miserable
night of it. In the morning I called the coal company for someone
to get propane.
Radon was 2.0 pCi/L this morning
Propane was delivered and the camper was warm. Jim Mellott is working
for OVCC now and he is taking care of the water and propane for
me now. Jim is a good guy and quite capable at a number of trades
like plumbing, electrical and general construction. Jim and I figured
that the propane in the little bottles the camper uses last only
a week. He will make sure I do not run out again. We agreed that
a larger tank of propane would be better but of course it would
not fit into the cabinet of the camper.
ARC guys are digging a trench in the floor of the SW basement room
to install a 4 inch perforated plastic pipe recommended by EPA to
collect Radon gas under the concrete floor. This pipe will connect
to others in the other rooms before new cement is poured and then
exit the house in the SE chimney which is not used.
While digging in the sub floor area Luke turned up a tea spoon.
It was an 1847 Rogers Bros. silver plate with moderate
to heavy wear. It was not lost by any of the Simpsons so it must
have been lost by one of the Kinneys. But When? I went to the internet
and found that was the Assyrian pattern made from 1849 to 1890.
that does not tell us any date it was lost or by whom but it was
an interesting find and will go into the collection of artifacts
found in and around the house.
The crew got the trench done in that first room and placed a layer
of gravel, then 4 inch pipe was assembled in a rectangular patter
around the room with the exit under the doorway to the hall. Then
they got the word that EPA did not like the kind of plastic elbows
used at all 4 corners as they were not smooth enough on the inside
and would slow the passage of the Radon gas. They had to disjoint
all of it and get new approved elbows and install them.
I was not here when the crew used a carbide tip saw to cut a trench
in the cement floor of the wash room. Went between the washer and
dryer. My Tag-Sav-R supplies had all been removed from the SW room
to this and not covered when they ran the saw. Needless to say cement
dust went all over everything, including an open box of low jaw
parts worth about $800.00 and all tools, dies and drill press. I
am not sure how much damage was done to the lower jaw parts as they
are not protected from stuff like that. I will be had pressed to
assemble any Tag Sav R tools for some time due to the lack of space,
dirt, etc. where I work.
Radon meter not read today
The crew dug a hole under the doorway stone between the furnace
room and hall Lewis starts his day at 7 every morning, taking out
plaster that was damaged by longwall mining and getting it prepared
for plaster. He leaves at 12 every day. Has a health problem that
does not allow him long hours of this tedious work.
My house is a mess! Dust is everywhere, they were using a carbide
saw to cut through the one good concrete floor I had left in the
basement. They had to cut a diagonal trench across the floor to
put in the 4 inch perforated plastic pipe that would drain away
the Radon. In the process they got a coating of concrete dust on
everything stored in that one room as all the other rooms were vacated
to this one so they could tear out the old longwall cracked concrete
floors. I manufacture a small agricultural tool called the Tag Sav
R and they got dust on all of the parts, drill press, clean new
lower jaw assembly which cost about $800. I suppose most of it can
be cleaned but what a mess. I wish they had told me they were going
to do it and I could have had someone move the parts and equipment
used to make the tools. I can only hope that I do not get a big
order for Tag Sav Rs before they get everything cleaned up
and put back. The new concrete will be poured on Wed. next week.
They got the plastic pipe into the SW room, hall and part of the
furnace room today. They will pour it first then when it is cured
they will tear out the remaining floor in the hall and furnace room
and pour it last.
Radon went down to 1.9 pCi/L (acceptable )
Radon reading was 1.8 pCi/L today
Radon was 1.8 pCi/L again
Randy and Lisa came to look at the progress of restoration
More work was done on wall plaster and additional grass seed and
straw was put on the yard.
The final work was done in preparation for cement pouring to occur
Radon still at 1.8 pCi/L. Cement truck came at 10:00AM. Everyone
of the crew was involved in getting it placed in the milkhouse,
hall basement and furnace room and trench in the wash room. The
coal company sent a man and his wife out to place straw bales around
the camper to make a skirting that will help protect the pipes from
freezing weather which is predicted for this coming weekend. It
has been very nice lately, like in the 60s every day this
week. We will pay for that I am sure when real winter comes.
Barry who got the post plastering contract to paint the interior
came today to leave off some paint chips to look at. Steve A., Claude
Luke and Jon had a meeting to check the progress. Steve took pictures
of the brick work that had been completed. We discussed the Radon
tube placement from the basement to the chimney.
Radon still at 1.8 pCi/L accumulated reading. Jon had gone to supply
store to get the material that will coat the inside of the cistern.
It will make it waterproof and hopefully it will regain its usefulness
as a cistern.
The two deep freezers were moved onto the cement that had cured
from last weeks pour. The place they came from was hammered out
and pieces of cement were taken across the road to where the water
trucks come in to water the cattle. The furnace fuel tank was lowered
onto a new section of cement floor and the contents of the other
tank was pumped into it. Outside work today involved getting down
into the cistern and cleaning out some muck on the bottom to see
where the longwall had damaged its ability to retain water. Jon
soon found it near the bottom. It was a gaping hole near the bottom
of the east sidewall. The old plaster on the sides of the cistern
was removed and tomorrow they will start repairs. A heater was put
inside the big cavern to dry it out and the stone top was replaced
temporarily. The radon monitor said 2.1 pCi/L in the morning but
it went down during the day to 1.6pCi/L. The exhaust fan is running
24/7 in the basement now.
Derrick Smith and Luke elevated the 2nd fuel tank then the newly
emptied tank was suspended from the ceiling. The incoming water
main was accidentally broken and hasty repairs made by a couple
of wet workers with some of the plastic pipe supplies I had on hand.
They hammered out the remaining concrete from where this tank had
been and around the furnace. Troy Megli, Luke and Jon worked on
the cistern in the PM and got the subsidence crack fixed and the
first coat of water seal plaster applied. Radon down to 1.8pCi/L.
Photos were taken inside of the cistern. It is 7 feet 6 inches
wide by 6 feet deep to the overflow tile. Using the Anchor Veterinary
handbook formula, I calculated the capacity to the overflow at 1,977.75
gallons. This formula is Diameter X Diameter X Depth X 5.86 =gallons
With this capacity of water available for all household and farm
use it is apparent why I have been adamant for this cistern to be
repaired to pre mining condition which, incidentally is listed as
part of the National Register of Historic Places assets of the James
The 4 inch perforated Radon tubes were connected in the basement
hall and NW room.
Pearl Harbor Day. Radon was 1.8 pCi/L upstairs in the NW parlor
Cement was poured today in basement hall, section under the furnace
and NW and SW rooms.
The job took 9 hours; the Allegheny crew was a really tired bunch
come evening! Somehow the cement contractor must have put in a cement
hardening retardant is why it took so long to harden. It looks very,very
good. It will be great to get some of the stuff moved back in place
after it hardens as there is hardly any room to turn around in the
basement, two freezers, washer, dryer, fuel tanks, wall shelving,
and especially my cannas need to get back into the potato
bin that they need to be stored in for the winter. It has
been cold outside, snow showers and 18 degrees. The camper I am
living in is using a tank of propane a day now.
I had removed the radon monitor device from the upstairs parlor
room and put it into the end of the radon tube that was taped over.
That tube will be connected to a vertical tube that will go up from
the basement through the unused chimney on the SE side of the house.
I taped the tube around the device at 9:00 last night, this morning
it was going crazy! It had gone to 10.1 by 9 this eve. Remember
this device only averages the Radon for the previous 48 hours or
it can be toggled to give a 7 day average. It has an audible siren
that goes off every hour.
Friday was not a working day for the restoration crew.
At 7:20 AM Radon was 20.0 pCi/L at 9:30 AM it was 21.1 pCi/L, at
1:15 it was 22.5 pCi/L
At 3:15 PM it went to 23.5 pCi/L at 8:15 PM it was 24.1 pCi/L and
9 PM at 28.5 pCi/L and 9:15 at 29.4 pCi/L
This escalating reading is evidence of the effectiveness of the
radon collection tubes under the basement floor that connect to
this exit tube. WOW.
At 7:30 AM Radon was 37.6 pCi/L at 9:30 it was 38.4 pCi/L, at 1:40
PM 43.0 pCi/L at 6:20 PM it went to 45.6 pCl/L OH MYYYY!!!
Troy and I got the dinner bell mounted on a new treated post
which is a discarded electric or telephone pole some one had given
me. Unfortunately we broke the cast iron arm that the rope is attached
to while hoisting it up with the tractor front end loader.
When I checked the Radon monitor this morning at 7:30 it was 59.4pCi/L,
then 60.6pCi/L as we were taking it out of the pipe then it clicked
on 61.4 pCi/L at 9:25 AM when I removed it and shut it off to move
it to the SW basement room where the original tests were done by
Kiddee in Carrollton, TX. It will take 48 hours to get the first
reading at that location. Hopefully it will show that the tubes
in the sub floor are taking the radon out of this room. All of this
proves beyond a doubt that Radon has been a problem after longwall
mining. Since Radon is a radioactive gas it is able to move more
freely up through the cracks caused by longwall mining, ending up,
unfortunately, in many folks basements. Bet most of them do not
have a clue this is happening. According to EPA literature Radon
is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer in the USA.
Keystone men are pointing bricks on the house and summer kitchen
today, nice weather for it.
It is still too soon to get a reading in the SW basement room.
Some of the men are working on the chimney in the kitchen. This
fireplace had been bricked up by my brother Jim back in the l960s.
Probably about 1962 as some newspapers were found in the tailpipe.
A cast iron L iron was found at the top of the fireplace
with the inscription C Dodge patd Mar. 18, 1856. Jon Smith
was very excited at this. It shows a real snip it of fireplace history
in this historic house. I looked up the patent (#14,447) in my patent
web search program. It showed that Mr. Dodge invented this kind
of fireplace to conserve heat and allow more radiant heat from a
coal fire to heat the room. The patent was referred to by a lot
of later inventors. It was made in Pittsburgh and Mr. Smith wondered
if this grate and patented fireplace was actually done by Mr. Dodge.
We have no way to know but at least a skilled journeyman who did
this kind of work was doing it soon after the patent as the house
was built (completed) in 1863, just 7 years after the patent issued.
Keystone is still pointing outside bricks, their work looks great.
We had an electrical problem today. The main entrance wire to the
house nearly caught fire. We had to close things down to get wire,
new shut off switch and things needed to replace the wire and hook
up a new way to shut off the electric to the farm from the center
service pole. We had to have AEP come out and shut off the transformer
and then turn it back on after we had made the repairs. Meanwhile
the guys used a portable generator to supply power to tools. They
were working on the milk house wall today.
Radon meter started up with a surprise reading. It was 4.0 pCi/L
at the same location we had done the original tests before and after
mining. I wonder if the radon tubes under the floor are simply trapping
the radioactivity as it is not well connected to the outside yet.
The Keystone company men finished the tuck point work on the house
and summer kitchen. It looks very good. However, longwall mine damage
will always be apparent to the house as they just put (my definition)
Bondo in the cracks of the lintel and the 9 foot long
hand carved Water Table Base Stone which had cracked into three
pieces. The same stuff was used on the front portico floor stone
which was cracked only at the ends. It looks very good now as they
colored the bondo stuff to look like original stone.
The crew was not working today. Radon was down only a little to
Radon up to 4.1 pCi/L at 8:30 AM did not change by 5 PM.
Radon at 4.1 pCi/L again in the SW basement room.
We only needed to cut through the stone under the fireplace and
run a 4 inch plastic pipe up through the SE chimney (the house has
4 chimneys, this one is not in use). However, a hidden historic
feature was found. I have agreed to have Allegheny Restoration Co
place Radon exit tubing (4 inch plastic pipe) in the back of this
fireplace and brick around it in keeping with the original brickwork.
We checked the Radon monitor again this morning and will do
so every morning to determine if the system is working to EPA specifications.
It was still high this morning even with the exhaust fan running
24/7. We had a meeting today with Jon Smith, Allegheny
Restoration, Claude Luke of Ohio Valley Coal and Steve the architect
in charge. We discussed the possibility of sealing off the stone
walls in the basement if the radon continues to be above 4 pCi/L
which was the reading
after mining. Baseline for this room was 2.0 pCi/L before mining.
Troy Megli and I moved a lot of stuff from the barn back into the
milkhouse now that the floor is finished. Jon Smith is plastering
the downstairs NE parlor room. Martin has started to brick in the
4 inch pipe around the radon exit tube in the fireplace mentioned
before Christmas in this article. It is starting to look just as
it was when James Kinney first saw it in 1863. I am really glad
for these real, honest to goodness preservation people who are so
very sensitive to the history of this house. I can just imagine
some run of the mill contractor trying to do this delicate restoration
work. The potato bin was re-assembled back in the space below the
basement steps and I started to put my cannas back in it.
The Radon is still at 4.1 pCi/L by monitor test this morning.
The plaster work is ongoing in the parlor. Almost finished and
it looks wonderful! All white and smooth, just like the original.
What wonderful experts are working here with the restoration! Nice
day today, cool and bright. I got some clean up started outside
and Jim Mellott brought more propane for the camper I live in. Radon
was down to 3.4 pCi/L this morning. But someone had left the door
to the basement room open for a number of hours and that would screw
up the test a little.
Jon, Derrick and Luke finished the NE Parlor room with a finish
coat of plaster. Troy Migli and I sorted and covered items in the
new parlor room. Troy took down all of the remaining suspended ceiling
Radon was 2.6 pCi/L this morning.
Radon was 2.9 pCi/L
Radon was 3.2 pCi/L
Radon was 4.0 pCi/L
The above are are measured at a 48 hour average.