Tyson to lead benefit show to rebuild burned mine buildings
Appeal Staff Writer
As a man who values the authenticity of the Old West, John Tyson didn’t hesitate when the chance came to host a fundraiser to rebuild a friend’s mine building.
Chris and Penny Kiechler’s office in an old building at the Chollar Mine in Virginia City burned down Jan. 4, destroying the building and many documents, photos and artifacts it contained.
The Kiechlers could not obtain insurance on the building because of its age, condition and lack of a foundation. But they still plan to rebuild.
They’ll get a little help from their friends at a two-show fundraiser to rebuild the burned building at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday at Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City.
Tyson will be the master of ceremonies, and said he will perform a bit at the show.
“I’m going to be the emcee, but I’ll sing a song or two and tell some of my old, worn-out jokes,” he said. “My main goal is to make sure that Chris gets the money he needs to get that building back up.”
The well-known local cowboy crooner and TV personality said the Kiechlers are committed to accuracy about life on the Comstock.
“Chris and Penny Kiechler, aside from being very nice people, have worked hard to create the authenticity of Virginia City,” Tyson said. “They’re not the gunfighter groups. The Chollar Mine is exactly what the Comstock was like in the 1870s and 1880s.”
Tyson said the Kiechlers would not be the only beneficiaries of the fundraiser.
“This is not just for Chris, but anyone who comes up to the Comstock to see this authentic mine,” he said. “Chris has done a marvelous job to be able to preserve this history. The old, square-set timbering is in there, and he does a great job showing people the conditions these miners endured for $4 a day.”
In addition to Tyson, the show will feature ragtime pianist Squeek LaVake and banjo player Gary Greenlund; danceSpirit dancers; local entertainers Bobby Kittle and the Buck & Bob Show; Glenn Buschine and Friends and more.
If you go
WHAT: Benefit for Chollar Mine building restoration
WHEN: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Piper’s Opera House, B and Union streets, Virginia City
CALL: (775) 847-0433
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@ nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 351.