Eagle Scout restores mining monument


CORDOVA — Boy Scout Troop 114's newest Eagle Scout earned the rank by restoring a 30-year-old miner's monument in Barney Cemetery.

Braden Ford, 17, got the suggestion for his Eagle Scout project from his grandfather. Several members of his family have worked in area mines.

The monument, dedicated in July 1989, contains the names of several hundred miners who worked in Barney. The past three decades had taken its toll on the monument, which was built with contributions from the families of the miners.

"The paint on the fence was fading. The top pieces that go on the fence were missing. The latch on the gate was rusted, and the monument really needed cleaning and pressure washing," Ford said.

The restoration project began in November. Work was just beginning when an impaired driver struck the fence around the monument in December, causing extensive damage.

"That set me back a lot. I had to go buy new fence because there was no way to salvage it," Ford said.

When his original plan for the new metalwork fell through, Ford assisted friend and welder Larry Pierce with the work that needed to be done.   

Ford received approximately $1,500 in donations from area businesses and the United Mine Workers of America to restore the monument. The local Elks Lodge also gave a $500 donation to install a flag pole at the monument.

The project was completed in early June, shortly after Ford graduated from Cordova High School.

Ford passed his Eagle Scout project review later that month. The official ceremony was held this weekend.