15 November 2010

Ch 21, Pt 9: "Lunch at Bonanza"


ennecott Mines

             "Lunch at Bonanza," Chapter 21, "Legacy of the Chief," pt 9

ABOVE: Kennecott Engineer Frank Buckie--Castle Rock in background, c. 1924  --AMHA

I was still working on the Erie
crosscut veins. I had overseen the cutting of the connecting tunnel from
the west, while another engineer had directed the crosscut from the
Jumbo end. I had even been there to help direct the Erie barracks
addition, which still remained unfinished since there was so much going
on right now. We increased the size of that building to accommodate a
crew of thirty in anticipation of running into rich ore veins in that

“One of the early consulting engineers, Wes Dunkle, suggested to me that
there are plenty of opportunities in the gold-fields of this territory.”
Russell said.

“I am planning to see what’s out there. I did not come here to be a just
another corporation flunky.” Lunch consisted of a choice of meaty
sandwiches, mashed potatoes and gravy and cream of broccoli soup.
Dessert would soon follow.

Our site manager Bert Nieding stood up as we finished the main course.

“We all wish to thank Mr. Birch and Dan Jackling for joining us here in
our cheerful dining hall at this, the place where Kennecott itself

“This is a momentous occasion. We are finally officially marking the
beginning of the end. No one else beyond the staff at New York and we
here at this table are aware of the severe depletion of reserves at his
mine. We are obliged to keep this conversation confidential. We
especially do not want to give any potential union activists some kind
of advantage here. As far as all are concerned--and that includes our
families--life will go on as normal. There will be no outward visible
changes. We will even be repainting the mill building next year and
continuing all the routine maintenance which will give this camp a clean
and neat appearance. Appearance is everything. I repeat--we will keep
this conversation among ourselves.”

“I will be departing for good in a few weeks after working with Bill
Douglass on the outlines for the future or lack of it here at Kennecott.
If any of you have concerns about your own careers, let me assure you
that we will have other assignments for you. I have complete confidence
in each and every one of you and look forward to many more years of all
of us working together.”

                   Kennecott Engineer Stanley Olsen, circa 1924   -AMHA


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