Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Ramsey, of Hardin County School, were invited by the Ohio River Scenic Byway to bring their 5th grade classes to visit the Miners’ Memorial Project site in Rosiclare Wednesday, April 26. Students were given the opportunity to have hands-on experience with the well known sculptor David Seagraves. With one on one assistance, students were able to use special power tools to make carvings in the large stone base. Seagraves is responsible for sculpting the Mr. and Mrs. Miner statues that will be placed and unveiled at during a ceremony set to take place June 17, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.
Students were able to do various activities during their field trip. They were able to dig for their own specimens of fluorspar in a mound donated by Hastie Mining Company. There was a diamond chipping demonstration by Mitchell Jenkins. The children were able to take pieces with them after completion. Harold Miller gave a presentation on fluorspar and students were able to pick up and examine the pieces. Ruth Miller brought pieces of the jewelry that she created from Fluorspar. Alli Armstrong, from the hunting show Grace, Camo and Lace, showed segments from her show called “On the Byway” featuring the American Fluorite Museum, the Hardin County Fluorspar Festival, and interviews with David Seagraves. She also filmed the children as they participated in activities that will be shown during the dedication ceremony.
Students left the site with a bag full of information and a coloring book from the Ohio River Scenic Byway demonstration booth. They also received hand-chipped fluorspar diamonds compliments of Rosiclare Mayor Roy “Jug” Tolbert. To end their field day, the 5th graders had a picnic lunch at the Rosiclare riverfront park.
Update Thursday afternoon, April 13: There were many visitors and onlookers as the excitement of the large crane moved the four huge rocks from Hastie Mining Company’s low boy 18 wheel truck to the strategic location for the Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial.
Leaders of the City of Rosiclare and the Ohio River Scenic Byway were on hand to assist in its placement. Barnett Redi Mix was on hand with more concrete to secure the Memorial wall that will be available for those wishing to honor loved ones in addition to the bricks already available. It was especially commemorative that the placement of the stones came on April 12 (Wed.) which marked the 46th anniversary of the Barnett Mining accident.
Once placed, sculptor David Seagraves began preparing the base for the bronze Mr. and Mrs. Miner statues soon to be delivered. All are invited to stop by and observe as the sculptor will return the last week of April to continue rock carving. An early June unveiling and dedication ceremony is being organized.
For more information call (618) 289-3607.
— photos and update courtesy of Rhonda Belford, Ohio River Scenic Byway
Stone set to make its way to Rosiclare for Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial from Hastie Mining Company. Pictured David Seagraves and Don Hastie.
Don and Ryan Hastie prepare to haul the huge rocks to Rosiclare.
Rocks benches for the Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial.
Getting it just right: April 12, 2017. Placing stone on the 46th anniversary of the Barnett Mining accident. Pictured Ryan Hastie.
Rodney Lane and Ryan Hastie of Hastie Mining Company.
Rosiclare Campground host Athel Wiseman and Rosiclare City Commissioner Steve Tolbert, along with Hastie Mining Company’s Don Hastie and Ryan Hastie standing near truck bed of Fluorspar to be used in the Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial.
Memorial Wall placed gingerly.
David Seagraves, sculptor, onlooks the Memorial Wall.
David Seagraves working to level and prepare the rock base for the bronzed Mr. Miner and Mrs. Miner statues coming soon.
Left to right: Eddie Reed, Billy Moore, Don Hastie, David Seagraves, Rhonda Belford, Kaye Tolbert, Jug Tolbert, Andy Atkinson. Back: Rodney Lane and Ryan Hastie.
Update: Tuesday afternoon, April 4, Barnett Redi Mix from Harrisburg delivered the concrete for the City of Rosiclare. It was as welcomed as the warm sunny day, as the Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial project continues to progress. Mayor Roy Tolbert, Justin Rose, and Rosiclare employees Andy Atkinson, Billy Moore and Eddie Reed assisted Barnett Redi Mix as they got into place for the concrete pad to be poured for the base that will hold the statue of the Fluorspar Miner and his wife.
Photo furnished Rhonda Belford – Ohio River Scenic Byway
Justin Rose complete concrete pad.
Update 3-30-17: Rosiclare city employees continue to work on the Miners’ Memorial project. They have placed forms, footings and gravel to prepare a concrete pour by Barnett’s on Friday, if weather permits. The concrete will have to cure for about one week.
Sculptor David Seagraves anticipates his arrival to be near the end of the first week of April to begin stove carvings. The public is invited to watch him while he works. Pope and Hardin County schools have been invited to a field day to watch Seagraves work. Organizers are hopeful that dedication ceremony will take place early June 2017.
Rosiclare City Employees, Eddie Reed, Billy Moore, and Andy Atkinson, place footings, forms and gravel to prepare for concrete pour. This is the location of where the bronze Mr. and Mrs. Miner statues will be placed.
Update 3/29/17: Rosiclare city workers, Andy Atkinson and Billy Moore, break ground to prepare for the foundation pour to support the Mr. and Mrs. Miner statues that will placed at the Miners’ Memorial project in Rosiclare.
Due to weather delays and dignitary schedules the Miners’ Memorial unveiling and dedication will likely take place the first week of June 2017. Organizers are coordinating events to include a Miners’ Memorial breakfast, fluorspar vending, and other related activities.
Call Rhonda Belford for more information: (618) 289-3607 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See advertisement at bottom of this article for ordering information.
Andy Atkinson, Billy Moore and Eddie read make preparations needed for the placement of the Memorial Wall.
At top right and left: Meet Mrs. Miner, an entricately designed sculpture by well known sculptor David Seagraves. Mrs. Miner, along with an additional sculpture, Mr. Miner, are just parts of the unique Miner’s Memorial that will come alive soon on Main Street in Rosiclare. A sneak peak photo of Mr. Miner was featured in the Independent and the Fluorspar Diamond in September and October 2016. You can see his sculpture below. When complete both sculptures will be coated in bronze. This project is brought to you by the Ohio River Scenic Byway, in partnership with the City of Rosiclare, who have secured federal funds and involvement through community efforts. They are proud to see this project coming to life! — David Seagraves photos.
By Jennifer Lane
Hardin County Independent
Well known sculptor David Seagraves, of Elizabeth, IL, was in town Thursday, February 23, as he and Ohio River Scenic Byway President Rhonda Belford visited Hastie Mining Company to specifically choose the large slabs of rock that will be used for the Fluorspar Miners’ Memorial project. The construction is in full swing, with plans for a dedication ceremony to be scheduled in the latter days of May 2017.
Seagraves plans to begin the base work and necessary stone carvings to prepare for the placement of the intricately detailed bronze statues, of the fluorspar miner and his wife, mid March. The public is invited to stop by to have an opportunity to observe Seagrave’s stone carving skills and watch progress as it’s made toward the completion of the Miners’ Memorial project. Classes from Hardin County School and other area schools are being encouraged to come, observe, and learn about the history of the mining industry to the community.
Above: Sculptor David Seagraves visited Hastie Mining Company to select a large stone slab to be used as a base for the Mr. and Mrs. Miner sculptures, and also selected other slabs for the memorial wall at the Miners’ Memorial.
Recently, more memorial bricks have been placed in the walkways. These memorial bricks have been purchased by individuals and businesses to help fund this project. (See advertisement below for more information about how you can purchase a carving on the large stone slab memorial wall or a brick to support this project, and/or to purchase in memory or in honor of your loved one.)
Memorial bricks that have been purchased and installed in the walkway at the Miners’ Memorial project site in Rosiclare.
The large stone slab memory wall will be surrounded by a beautiful memory garden and landscaping. There will also be panels of photos and information about industry in Rosiclare during the time of fluorspar mining. There will also be a granite memorial marker that will be engraved to honor not only the seven miners that lost their lives in the tragic 1971 Barnett Mine accident, but all area miners and their families. The area will be beautifully landscaped and stone benches will be placed in the area.
The picture does not do it’s size justice, but this large stone slab will be erected into a memory wall with carved wording, and surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
The City of Rosiclare and Ohio River Scenic Byway are responsible for bringing this meaningful memorial to preserve history and honor those who gave so much to the local fluorspar mining industry.
The Miners’ Memorial project is located at the pavilion on Main Street in Rosiclare just before the entrance to the Rosiclare Riverfront Park. It is in the place where the Capitol Theatre building once stood.