Reader Recalls Kyanite Mining Memories

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Editor, The Herald:

I am writing this letter to share some of my family's relationship growing up beside the Kyanite mine at Baker's Mountain near Pamplin in the years it was running into the early 1990's, these things coming to mind after reading several articles in the local paper. We had a closer relationship with Kyanite as they pumped water from Spring Creek to the top of the mountain through a pipeline under my Grandfather's farm and accessed the pumping station down our driveway day and night. This was a great benefit to us because they maintained a quarter mile to our house and past to the station and kept gravel on our road even after the need for water diminished. The employees of Kyanite were always nice and took time to talk a minute and being kids we would follow them to see what they were doing when performing maintenance around their pumping station and holding lake, telling us to stand back but letting us watch, at a distance, running dozers and other equipment. I remember the men cutting down a large tree in grandpa's yard and every year around Christmas they brought us a turkey for the holidays. If we needed a big bolt or something welded back together we would go up to the mine office and Mr. Bailey or one of the others would take us into the shop and help us out. Now, years later, the mine has been closed and the buildings torn down, and I have taken notice over the years employees around our neighborhood that worked at Baker's Mountain wore clean uniform shirts well into retirement, I guess proud of the association with them.

Danny Slayton

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