Longwall Effects  

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James Kinney Farmstead main house longwall mining damage pictures.

Diary Entry:

No activity of officials here today. Kurt came and took care of the cables. Damage is showing up more in the basement. More ceiling damage and more cracks are opening up on the inside walls, especially troubling are those at the perimeter of the ceilings in the west bedrooms all along the wall. Looks like we have an outward movement of the house against the cables. New damage is showing up at the portico entrance, possibly due to the lack of cribbing inside the portico which is the largest opening in the brick house. Somehow these were forgotten when the house mitigation plan was effected. I am worried that in case of fire I might not be able to get out of the house. There are three doors to the outside and two are blocked by cables. The storm door has been taken off the kitchen so I can get out if I have to but in this cold weather it really makes a big difference in heating. Also, heat is going up through the ceiling lath and into the un-insulated attic. Hard to keep the house warm, even with the new furnace going full blast. Yeah, I'm having a "Happy New Year!"

I had a lot of company during this week. Folks who saw the TV shows (they ran re-runs a lot on this situation) and read the Wheeling and Martins Ferry papers had to come by and put in their 2 cents worth. Yesterday I was visited by ODNR Mines and Mineral dept.My homestead looks terrible now. Digging, tearing up my yards, putting cables on my buildings, and breaking so much of the interior.

The house was actually leaning toward the west at one point - at an incredible 8 inches lower on one side than the other. It has not come down straight as this morning one of the pendulums was right back to the starting point and all the others were still off. My house has been twisted in the process. I have NO ceilings left unaffected upstairs. A lot of it has fallen to the floor. Cracks are everywhere and even the inside walls which are brick inside and smooth plaster on the face are mostly cracked. At this time, 10:25 AM on New Years Day, the basement floor is badly cracked in some areas and not at all in two rooms.

The milkhouse which is attached to the big timber-frame barn was damaged. The floor is now cracked and it is leaning one way and the barn is the other way (according to the pendulums in both structures. The longwall mining has now gone past the last structure on the James Kinney Farm building complex and is now about 300 feet past the house and about 100 feet past the barn. Most damage at the milkhouse and barn will be done between Dec. 31st and Jan. 2nd. but of course we know that subsidence will continue at some degree for years.

The main well, dug about 1795 for the first settler, has been going empty at the rate of about 2 feet per day in the last two days. On Nov. 25, 2003, this great well had 11 foot of water (it is 33 feet deep), Today it only had 7.2 feet of water. This is a 6 foot wide dug well and one can figure how many thousand gallons it holds at capacity. Mr. Stubbs tested it today and said he could hear "a lot of water coming into the well" but the level is going down! Not a good thing. I believe we will lose this great asset to the farm by losing this well and the springs across the road which have already gone bone dry. What is amazing is the lack of damage up to this point to the exterior brick and foundation stone. I do believe that the banding has a big help in that regard. But, I still maintain, they should NEVER longwall mine under National Register of Historic Places property. I understand by yesterdays conversation with Mr. Kevin Ricks of ODNR that this is the FIRST time ever that any longwalll mining company in Ohio has mined under such a property and that the James Kinney Farm building complex was treated as a Guinea pig!

Floyd Simpson

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