The Miner's Brass
Under the mountain in Alleghany, deep in the Sixteen to One Mine is a timber (post for ground support) which is plastered with brass nametags.
This timber has a story to tell…..
Underground mines are required to have a “tag board” at the entrance to the mine. This is a board that is used to indicate who is in the mine. Every time a miner goes underground they must “tag in” or “brass in” by placing a brass tag with their name stamped on it on the “in” side of the tag board. When the miners leave the mine they “tag out” or “brass out” by moving their “brass” to the “out” side of the board. In this way anybody approaching the entrance to the mine can tell at a glance how many men are underground. This is also important at the end of the day to make sure that everybody is out of the mine.
In the 1980’s a tradition developed at the Sixteen to One Mine that may be unique. When a miner leaves the employment of the mine, the remaining miners “spike his brass” by attaching it to a specific timber at the 800 station on the 49 Winze.