A multi-venue fundraising effort, “A Day with the Tabors,” will take place Sunday, June 30, to support the preservation of the hoist house at the Matchless Mine.

One of the most productive silver mines of the late 1800s Silver Rush, the Matchless Mine was estimated to have produced almost two billion dollars (today’s value) making its owner Horace Tabor a silver king. The mine is on the National Register of Historic Places.

After 100+ years, the high country’s harsh winters and intense sun have taken their toll on this historic structure, of which The National Mining Hall of Fame And Museum (NMHFM) is the custodian.

The Tabor Home and The Tabor Opera House have partnered with NMHFM to provide a progressive “Tabor experience” on June 30. The event line-up includes historic tours; readings and book signings by best-selling Leadville historical fiction authors Diane Brotemarkle, Ann Parker, and Donna Baier Stein; musical duo Birds on a Line; chief trainer Dave TenEyck and his burros; American mountain man Bill Bailey; gold panning; a cookout; and, a patriotic performance by the 101st Army Band to welcome the July 4 holiday.

A Day With The Tabors is a combined effort to tell and preserve the Tabor Legacy. Fees and donations from the event support the shared mission of preserving and maintaining the places that tell their iconic story. The schedule of events and venue locations can found at www.mininghalloffame.org

The Matchless Mine’s owner, Horace Tabor, one of the richest silver kings in Colorado history, his wife Augusta, and his mistress-turned-wife Baby Doe had starring roles in one of America’s most sensational rags to riches stories. Their gripping story of boom and bust, fame and fortune, and love and loss still captivate audiences today during summer tours of the site.

The Matchless Mine located on mineral-rich Fryer Hill in Leadville’s Historic Mining District is a prime example of mining construction during the bonanza production years of the district. Its surface plant Shaft No. 6 is significant for its historic engineering purposes and is one of the few sites in the district with buildings remaining. The Matchless Mine was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 2010.

For the past six years, NMHFM has been working to rehabilitate and preserve the few remaining buildings at the site. After successful work on the powder magazine and the headframe, NMHFM is preparing to move forward with restoring the hoist house, which housed the winch for the Number 6 shaft. The hoist house requires significant restoration to the foundation, framing and siding rehabilitation, roofing repair and site grading. The project will require architectural and engineering services, along with archeological monitoring. The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation on behalf of Climax Molybdenum has awarded NMHFM a grant to support a portion of the rehabilitation. However, more funding is needed before the project can begin.

The National Mining Hall of Fame And Museum, located in Leadville, is the nation’s monument to the men and women who pioneered the discovery, development, processing, and protection of our nation’s natural resources, giving us the raw materials needed to make the products of our everyday lives. The National Mining Hall of Fame And Museum is the only federally chartered (but non-tax supported) mining hall of fame and museum. A non-profit 501(c)(3), it relies on admission fees, benefactors, business partnerships, and other fundraising activities to tell the story about mining, its people, and importance to the American public. See www.mininghalloffame.org.

The Tabor Home was home to Horace Tabor and his first wife, Augusta. Augusta Tabor was the first woman in Leadville and endeared herself to the miners by becoming the camp’s cook, laundress, postmistress, and banker. The Tabor Home features some of the Tabors’ original Victorian furnishings and household goods, and signifies an exciting time in Horace Tabor’s life when he owned a general store, invested in mining claims, and increased his wealth.

Set in Leadville, Colo., the highest-elevation city in North America, the Tabor Opera House celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2019. Built-in 1879 and deemed a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tabor hosts world-class performances and guided tours each summer — and a spirited effort is revitalizing this endangered remnant of the Wild West. The City of Leadville bought the building in 2016 and established a partnership with the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation to lead an $8.5- to $10-million rehabilitation. The project has won commitments of $2 million as of April 2019, with a $1.5 million Phase 1 starting this fall.

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