We are asking you to join Miners Hall Museum Foundation in preserving a unique piece of coal mining history in Southeast Kansas.
This Page 618 Walking Dragline when restored, will be the second and largest dragline preserved for public display in the United States. This destination will benefit Southeast Kansas, bringing visitors, tourists, authors, and students from across the nation, creating local business revenue and interest in our unique coal mining history
Keith Haddock, co-founder of the Historical Construction Equipment Association in Bowling Green, Ohio, is the leading expert on earthmoving and surface mining equipment. He is a professional engineer, author, freelance writer and TV guest. Mr. Haddock states:
"I still believe that saving the Page dragline is of the utmost importance and the top of the list for all items to be preserved in America."
Donors will be recognized on our Page 618 Walking Dragline Donor Recognition digital wall. Additional giving level recognition includes donor names engraved on the donor plaque at the dragline site, and invitation to the dedication dinner, a signed picture, a MHM lifetime membership, and a signed copy of the limited edition book, 'Coal Mining Days' by Debby Ossana Close while supplies last.
Your support is crucial to our efforts! Become a Part of History by Preserving the Past for Future Generations!
Wilkinson Coal Company - Page 618 Walking Dragline
William Wilkinson was born in Pelton Fell, England, in 1862. He worked the mines from the age of 10 and came to Weir City, Kansas, in 1883 at the age of 20 to continue mining. In 1917, he started his own deep mine a mile south of Fleming, Kansas. Wilkinson Coal Company, Weir City, Kansas, operated from 1917 to 1979. William Wilkinson died in 1932 and his sons continued the mining operation.
A Walking 618 Page Dragline with a 110 foot boom was purchased in 1953 from Alexandria, Louisiana, and shipped by rail to Weir City for the strip mining operation. The dragline was later used for clay mining by the Mission Clay Company. It later came back tot he Wilkinson family when Wendell Wilkinson purchased it from Mission Clay.
John W. Page invented the dragline in 1904. A walking mechanism was developed a few years later, allowing draglines mobility free of rails and rollers, and was adopted by the Chicago-based Page Engineering Company in the 1920s. The company introduced its popular 600-series draglines in the mid-1930s.
Wendell and Lynda Wilkinson are pledging to donate the Page 618 dragline to Miners Hall Museum for the restoration project. Out of the eighteen built, this will be the only known Page 618 to be restored.
The dragline, shown at its current location to the right, will make the 30.4 mile trip to Franklin, Kansas, intersection of US 69 Hwy and KS 47 Hwy, also known as Ginardi's Corner.
Once restoration begins, the project will be followed by the donor plaque and information signage, sidewalks, lighting, seating, fencing, and parking for cars and buses.
Please print, complete, and mail the following document to link arms with us in preserving a piece of history for future generations: Contribution Form. If unable to print, a check can still be mailed.
Send to Miners Hall Museum, 701 S Broadway Street, Franklin, KS 66743-8501
You can also donate with a credit/debit card straight off this website
We are an exhibition located within the Franklin Community Center & Heritage Museum in Franklin, Kansas. The public is invited to visit and view the mining artifacts as well as other historic items.
701 S. Broadway
Franklin, KS 66735
Hours of Operation:
Please call to schedule tours.
Donations of mining-related artifacts or photos may be dropped off Monday through Friday, 10 - 4pm.
A Taste of Arma: Join us this Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. at Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, KS for this special program. The program will be presented by Rachelle Mengarelli and will include a French Cookie demonstration. Watch and learn as she creates those tasty cookies that abound around the holidays. This special program is being presented in conjunction with the quarterly exhibit "Coal Camp - Arma" hosted by Christie (Nicoletti) Parrish. MHM is proud to display this quarterly exhibit.Program begins at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1:45) and admission is free. We would appreciate a call if you plan to join us so we can plan for adequate seating (620-347-4220). Donations are accepted and appreciated. After the program you are welcome to view the quarterly exhibit. ...
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This is a great story from the Smithsonian exhibit 9 years ago about these wonderful guys. We had so much fun with them. Big Brutus was our companion exhibit. A great example of area museums working together. We appreciate all their hard work. ...
Rollin' Nostalgia Car Club's exhibit and car show - additional photos from May, 2012. Just imagine the work in pulling this exhibit together! They can be very proud that they were a part of a Smithsonian Exhibit and we are grateful that they were happy to join us. ...
Rollin' Nostalgia Car Club hosted "The Way We Worked in SE Kansas - Transportation" in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit during the month of May, 2012. Doesn't seem like 10 years ago. What a fun group! Thought it would be a fun trip down memory lane and for those who couldn't make it, you can see what it takes to create an exhibit. The exhibit was on display the entire month of May, 2012. When they told us they were bringing a car into the museum, we were in disbelief, but you can see they made it happen. What a great bunch of people. They even held a car show for us!! There will be a separate post for those photos as well as more photos of the exhibit. Be sure to support them in June for the Jefferson Highway Conference. The Car Club will be hosting an antique/classic car parade starting in Pittsburg, KS and will drive down 69 Highway through Franklin and Arma on June 4, starting at 11 am. Come out and watch as they come through town. ...