Graffiti, floor damage, litter at Quincy dry house building
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette Tom Wright, Quincy Mine Hoist Association facilities supervisor, looks over some of the trash and graffiti in the organization’s dry house building Thursday. The QMHA is supporting the plan by the Houghton City Council to construct a skate park at the east end of the city because skateboarders are suspected of doing the damage.
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — For Tom Wright, the damage being done at the Quincy No. 8 shaft isn’t being done by bad people, just thoughtless people.
“These are not hoodlums,” he said. “They’re just kids.”
At the dry house on the property owned by the Quincy Mine Hoist Association off U.S. 41 north of the Quincy No. 2 shaft house, Wright said people have been using the flat concrete floor of the building for skateboarding.
Besides making piles of trash in the building, Wright said people have covered most of the walls of the building with graffiti, some of it sexually explicit.
“The graffiti seems to be increasing,” he said.
Although the QMMHA board and employees realize the people doing the damage in the building just want to have fun, Wright — who is the QMHA facilities supervisor — said the building is historic and needs to be protected.
“We need to treat it with respect,” he said.
Wright said the dry house was the place where miners changed their clothing after their shifts in the copper mine.
Besides the graffiti, Wright said it is possible one of the people using the building could get hurt. There is also the possibility of someone causing a fire, whether intentional or not.
The city of Houghton is planning on building a skate park at the waterfront park on the east end of the city. Wright said the QMHA is supporting the effort, which when finished should give skateboarders a safe and legal place to use their skateboards.
It is unknown exactly what will be done with the graffiti on the dry house walls, Wright said. It has to be determined if the paint can be removed without damaging the walls, or if it should just be painted over. There is graffiti scratched onto the walls by the miners, which is considered historic and should be saved.
There used to be a skateboarding course at the Dee Stadium, but Wright said when that closed, use of the dry house increased.
“That’s when we saw an uptick (at the dry house),” he said.
The QMHA board is hoping the public will become involved with the effort to protect the building, and getting the Houghton skate park built is one way to do that, Wright said.
“Quincy would prefer to work with the community,” he said.
Wright said the dry house could be put to use in the future.
“It’s a good, sturdy building,” he said. “Our interest is in preserving this.”