Couple restores abandoned Grand Forks gold mine to share mine experience

Frank Schlichting and wife Sharon at Yankee Boy Mine (photo contributed by Frank Schlichting).Frank Schlichting and wife Sharon at Yankee Boy Mine (photo contributed by Frank Schlichting).

The Grand Forks Exploring Abandoned Mines Museum is making an exciting move to an abandoned gold mine, with its history predating 1900.

Last mined in 1937, the Yankee Boy Mine was acquired by museum owners Frank and Sharon Schlichting last year, with the goal of restoring it to its former glory as part of the museum experience.

The new expansion is expected to open to the public in the spring of 2023.

The new Exploring Abandoned Mines Museum will include both an above-ground museum and an underground portion of the gold mine, complete with artifacts and mining equipment.

Frank, who has explored hundreds of mines, said that restoring the Yankee Boy Mine is a major undertaking.

“We had to remove all the rock and stuff out and rebuild all the timber into it. We were only able to get 400 feet back and then there was a large collapse, so we’ve had to shovel all that out. We took 449 minecart loads out,” he said.

“Now we’ve got a huge area that there was a shaft going up into some other levels, so we’re still working on that.”

Updates on the Yankee Boy Mine restoration can be found on the Exploring Abandoned Mines Museum & Adventures Facebook page and on their YouTube channel, which currently has 161,000 subscribers.

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