Painesdale Mine & Shaft, Inc.
and you can help to save Champion #4



Copyright 1996-2007 
 Kevin E. Musser

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Painesale begins Phase II restoration
 (Reprinted from the 5/18/98 Daily Mining Gazette)

 Today begins phase two in the restoration of the old Champion number 4 shafthouse in

 Yalmer Mattila Contracting of Houghton is putting up some 90 metal sheets that will complete
 the $30,000 re-siding project that began with phase one two years ago.

 "It's another happy day in my life", said Jim Katalin, president of Painesdale Mine & Shaft, Inc.
 "It takes time and money... We're just excited because our open house is July 2 and 3. People
 can see we're for real. We're making believers out of people who thought we couldn't do it".

 Katalin was recently awarded the prestigious John B. Swainson Award for a public employee
 who makes a significant contribution to preserving Michigan history outside his normal job

 Gov. John Engler presented the award to Katalin during a recent trip to Lansing. Katalin is
 employed by Camp Kitwen in Painesdale.

 PM&S is scheduling each phase of the restoration after money is raised to pay for it rather than
 going into debt, so phase three will not be decided until there is more funding. However,
 Katalin believes replacing 22 windows in the shafthouse will be included.

This photo was taken by Marshall Anderson and appeared in the May 20th edition of the
 Daily Mining Gazette. Yalmer Mattila construction workers Greg Dupuis of Lake Linden
 and Brian Lassila of Traprock work 150 feet above ground to replace panels on the
 (Many thanks to the Mining Gazette for supplying this photo) 

Spring / Summer 2007

If you are interested in joining our group or just helping out, join us at one of our regular scheduled meetings which occur:
Every month on the second Thursday at the PM&S Captain's office in Painesdale at 6:30pm until further notice.

Winter 2007

If you are interested in joining our group or just helping out, join us at our next meeting:
March 8th @ 6:30pm at the Baltic Hall

If you are interested in joining our group or just helping out, join us at our next meeting:
January 18th @ 6:30pm at the Baltic Hall

Fall 2006

If you are interested in joining our group or just helping out, join us at our next meeting:
November 9th @ 6:30pm at the Baltic Hall

Photos from our open house held on 10/29/06

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PM&S Reorganization Meeting

After a number of years of little activity at Painesdale Mine & Shaft a meeting was held on September 27, 2006 to attempt to put some new life back into this orginization. The results of this meeting generated a new committee to start again to continue the restoration efforts here in Painesdale.

Sherri Brandt - President
Rex Carlson - Vice President
Anton Pintar - Treasurer
Debbie Pindral - Secretary
Ralph Raffaelli - Trustee
Janet Gregorich - Trustee
Jennifer Brandt - Trustee

Spring/Summer 2002


Letter from the President: Well, here we are in the new year and the Painesdale Mine & Shaft is moving along. Currently we are in Phase III of the restoration of the #4 Shafthouse. We are very excited to tell you that with the hard and diligent work of volunteers we have finally obtained the Hoist Building. Work is in progress and we have had a few tours. We have taken down the interior walls and opened up the hoist so that you can enjoy the beauty of the building.

The PM&S has changed officers. I believe that the insight of these people can move us toward our goal. Vice President Rudy Gregorich, lifetime resident of Painesdale and past employee of Copper Range. Rudy has been a pillar in helping obtaining the buildings and for his stories. He resides in Painesdale with wife, Anne. Secretary is Debbie Pindral, what a person! She is phenomenal in keeping the records for this organization. Debbie and husband Chester have two sons, and they were instrumental in the creation of our mine shaft float. Treasurer Bill Cowling and wife Julie, do a fabulous job in keeping track of the finances and helping with the cleaning of the grounds around the property. Trustee Anton Pintar was born and raised in Painesdale and has been a wonderful resource for the history of Copper Range. Trustee Jim Katalin born and raised here and the past President of PM&S, lives in Atlantic Mine. His family history that dates back 80 years in Copper Range mining. Trustee Lori Bastain is the new comer to our group. Her husband Todd and their three children reside in Painesdale. Then there is the PResident, Annette Burtina. I have been in the community now for over 22 years with my husband Stephen and our four children. We have family history that goes backs 100 years and at least 51 years of family history in Copper Range.

I would like to thank you for supporting the Painesdale Mine Shaft, because if it was not for your support we couldn't have come this far towards the achievement of our goals.

Mattila's receive a Plaque: Painesdale Mine & Shaft wanted to honor Pearl and Yalmer Mattila for their ongoing support throughout the years in the restoration efforts of the Champion #4 shaft. This past year they were presented with a plaque from PM&S and we wanted to take the time to thank them for their donations. Sadly Yalmer passed away in 1999, but Pearl resides in their home in Toivola.

The Robert B. Bergdahl Award given to PM&S: The Robert Bergdahl award was given to PM&S for the year 2001. This award is given to a group or person that is outstanding in preserving the local history. This award is given by the Copper Range Historical Society, which is located in South Range. Thank  you to Copper Range Historical Society for honoring our group.

Thank you for your support during our 6th annual Spaghetti Dinner: We raised over $1200.00 in April during our dinner. Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed good food and friends. Mark us on your calender for next year.

Other News: Video Project We are starting to work on a documentary video project to record the thoughts and images of past employees of Champion Mine, their experiences working in the mine and living in Painesdale. In order for us to get really serious about this project we would like to get some idea of the kind of iinterest this project might generate. If you might be interested in purchasing a documentary video like this please email us with your thoughts.


Join us for our annual Spaghetti Dinner in the spring. Good food and good friends!

Many thanks to all who helped support our cause.

Old News PM&S Obtains the keys to Champion Hoisthouse For many years now we have been able to access the Champion Hoisthouse for tours, only by arranging it through Adams Township. This summer we were officially given the keys to the Hoisthouse so we will be able to have it open at any time. This adds another structure to our growing list of buildings, cared for and maintained by Painesdale Mine & Shaft volunteers.
Your donations have made it possible and it is all of you we have to thank.

James Katalin, President PM&S, Honored with Preservation Award.

Click here to read the Associated Press article.

Congratulations Jim on all your hard work.

Photos from the Centennial celebration of Painesdale July 3rd, 1999 

Congressman Bart Stupak visited the shafthouse in July 1999. Over 100 people attended our open house on July 2nd and 3rd. 1999 marks the 100th year of the town of Painesdale and the Copper Range Railroad. Look for special events around the 4th of July.

PM&S was saddened to hear of the death of Fred Cole, an original trustee and a long-time supporter of the organization. He will be greatly missed by all.

Would you be interested in joining us? For those of you who are visiting or live in the area, our meetings are the third Wednesday each month at Jeffers High School in Painesdale, at 6:30pm.

Election of officers was held at the August meeting:

Jim Katalin, President
Janet Gregorich, Vice President
Debra Pindral, Secretary
William Cowling, Treasurer
Mary Taddeucci, Recording Secretary
Rudy Gregorich, Three year Trustee
Jerry Aho, Two year Trustee
Rose Pelon, One year Trustee


SIA Annual Meeting included a tour of Champion #4. 
This is a picture I took of two of the five bus loads from the Society for Industrial Archeology during our tour in May. The Shafthouse, Hoist house and Mining Captian's Office were all open during the tour. Many of Pete Schierloh's GREAT drawings of #4 were available for sale. If you have not seen Pete's work check this out, then write PM&S and use our easy order form to order them all.

The PM&S group was decked out in their new PM&S teeshirts and hats which were hot off the press the day before. I was very happy to get mine.

John Katalin was a wealth of information regarding hismany days hoisting men to and from the depths of #4. My  favorite story is one about the first day John worked the #4 hoist. He hoisted his first crew into the Rockhouse. After a  half an hour he got a call from one of the men who had managed to climb down the skiproad, 100 ft. or so, to the ground to tell him to let the car down a bit so the rest of them could get out. He almost went home in fear, except the Captain promised to stay with him and watch over him.Turned out a week later John discovered the Captain didn't  know a thing about hoists.Good fortunes were with John that  week.

A picture of me working out the final dimensions of #4 for my model.
 Many Thanks to Debbie, Chester, Jim and John for allowing me to wander around inside of #4 the day before the SIA tour. I got lots of great video of the upper levels which I have reproduced here for your pleasure. Many great stories too.

If you have questions please e-mail us at:


Restoration Activities

Phase I Completed

Phase I of the restoration project was completed in October 1996. This included installing corrugated metal on the North and West walls of the shafthouse by Yalmer Mattila Contracting, Inc. at a total cost of $11,570.00. This construction has enhanced considerably the apperance of the building. We are pleased with all the work that was done. We are looking forward to Phase II which would include metal on the South and East walls. As funds become available future plans include new windows, frames, doors, etc. Please help us on our way by becoming a member today. Please see our main page for our membership form and we now are offering gifts to support our project. Thank you for you help and support. 
                                                    PM&S, Inc., August 1997.

Reprinted from The Daily Mining Gazette (6/27/97)
Caption reads, "Champion Shafthouse No. 4 has been getting some visitors this season, including about 250 Michigan Tech industrial history and archaeology department members, the Society for Industrial Archeology (spelled incorrectly in the Gazette) and Gerald Perreault's History class from Calumet High School. Long time employees of the former mine, John Katalin and Rudy Gregorich, both of Painesdale, offered firsthand information on how the mine operated. Painesdale Mine and Shaft Inc., working to preserve and restore the historic site, is having an open house from 4-7pm next Thursday, July 3. The public is invited to check out this Copper Country landmark."