The transformation of plasterwork within the theater has continued with the Homestake legacy carrying it on. The second lower wall project is underway, nicknamed the "Ed RossWall." A $10,000 kickoff donation was made for this special project in memory of longtime Homestake electrical engineer and Wyodak mine manager Harold "Ed" Ross. Other donors have also given to the project.
The generous donation was made by Ed & Teen Ross' family, whose Homestake roots run deep. Ed's wife, Teen, was a dancer and performed several times on the Homestake Opera House stage. The Ross Shaft in Lead is named after Ed's uncle Alec Ross, who was superintendent of the Homestake mine for more than 25 years. Ed installed the communications system within the mine that allowed hoist operators to talk with miners in the cage. He was injured in a work-related explosion in 1946 and lost most of his vision, but even though he was legally blind, he went on to manage the Wyodak power plant and coal mine for 25 years until retiring in 1973 and returning to Lead. Other donors have also stepped forward to see this lower wall restored. The north lower "Ed Ross wall" project is slated to be completed in September 2017.
Photos courtesy Historic Homestake Opera House.