Longwall Effects  

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Diary of Longwall Mining Damage 2006

Severe damage continues to occur to our farmland, buildings and water supply as a result of mining by the Ohio Valley Coal Company.


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.

Floyd Simpson

2/19/2006 (Pictures)

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 the field.

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 can’t 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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

2/21/2006 (see pictures 3/7/2006)

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 broke.

Floyd Simpson

3/7/2006 (see pictures 3/7/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

4/4/2006 (see pictures 3/7/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

4/6/2006 (see pictures 3/7/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson


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 historic property:
Mr. Wm Bowers, OMC company, Ron Pletcher, Durable Slate Co., Charlie Troyer Durable Slate Co., Jon Smith, Allegheny Restoration Co.

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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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 this problem.

Floyd Simpson


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 this field.

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 Farmstead.

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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

8/18/2006 - 8/19/2006 (see pictures 8/25/2006)

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 the subsidence!

Floyd Simpson

8/30/2006 (see pictures 8/30/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

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 1800’s.

Floyd Simpson


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!!!

Floyd Simpson


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!

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


I set out a Radon detector in the basement.

Floyd Simpson


I collected the Radon detector and sent it in for analysis.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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 class.

Floyd Simpson


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 outside.

Floyd Simpson


More stuff moved. The crew is breaking up longwall damaged cement floors in the milkhouse.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

10/12/2006 (see pictures 10/17/2006)

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 up.

Floyd Simpson


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 1830’s 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.

Floyd Simpson

10/18/2006 (see pictures 10/18/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

10/23/2006 (see pictures 10/24/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

10/25/2006 (see pictures 10/25/2006)

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 but smoking.

Floyd Simpson

11/6/2006 (see pictures 11/1/2006, 11/2/2006, 11/6/2006)

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..

Floyd Simpson


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 plastering.

Floyd Simpson

11/8/2006 (see pictures 11/8/2006)

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 tedious job.

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.

Floyd Simpson


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 don’t 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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


Radon meter went up again to 2.4 pCi/L

Floyd Simpson


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 1860’s! 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 1800’s. 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.

Floyd Simpson

11/14/2006 (see pictures 11/14/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

11/17/2006 (see pictures 11/17/2006)

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 R’s 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.

Floyd Simpson


Radon went down to 1.9 pCi/L (acceptable )

Floyd Simpson


Radon reading was 1.8 pCi/L today

Floyd Simpson

11/22/2006 (see pictures 11/22/2006)

Radon was 1.8 pCi/L again

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


The final work was done in preparation for cement pouring to occur tomorrow.

Floyd Simpson

11/29/2006 (see pictures 11/29/2006)

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 60’s 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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

12/4/2006 (see pictures 12/4/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

12/6/2006 (see pictures 12/6/2006)

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 Kinney Farmstead.

The 4 inch perforated Radon tubes were connected in the basement hall and NW room.

Floyd Simpson

12/7/2006 (see pictures 12/7/2006)

Pearl Harbor Day. Radon was 1.8 pCi/L upstairs in the NW parlor room.

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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

12/9/2006 (see picture 12/9/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

12/10/2006 (see pictures 12/10/2006)

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!!!

Floyd Simpson

12/11/2006 (see pictures 12/11/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

12/12/2006 (see pictures 12/12/2006)

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 l960’s. 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 pat’d 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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson


The crew was not working today. Radon was down only a little to 3.9 pCi/L.

Floyd Simpson


Radon up to 4.1 pCi/L at 8:30 AM did not change by 5 PM.

Floyd Simpson


Radon at 4.1 pCi/L again in the SW basement room.

Floyd Simpson


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.

Floyd Simpson

12/20/2006 (see pictures 12/20/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

12/26/2006 (see pictures 12/26/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

12/27/2006 (see pictures 12/27/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson

12/28/2006 (see pictures 12/28/2006)

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.

Floyd Simpson


Radon was 2.9 pCi/L

Floyd Simpson


Radon was 3.2 pCi/L

Floyd Simpson


Radon was 4.0 pCi/L
The above are are measured at a 48 hour average.

Floyd Simpson




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