It has always been a wonder as to how the flagpole on the peak above McGill was put up. I found an article in the White Pine News dated April of 1917, that told the story of putting up a large flag to celebrate the entrance of the United States Military in WWI. It mentioned that the pole had been carried up by mules in sections and that the mules had to be helped up by block and tackle attached to trees. The article states that the pole was fitted together and laid down the front side of the peak and then raised by means of a 40 foot high gin pole setup. Sound impossible? Not really, because I also knew that those old timers did some amazing things.
While doing some mining claims surveys with Wally Boundy, we found some old gas or steam engines perched on top of cliffs. They were being used as the power source for a tram to haul ore up the side of a mountain. It was a chore just to hike up to the engine, let alone carry one up there. It was done with horses/mules and a snatch block and tackle arrangement.
With that in mind, anything is possible. The 100 foot length bothered me, until I studied some closeups that Pete Boundy and I took of the pole on Oct 27, 2018. The pipe lengths were put together with a connecter that would allow them to fit inside each other like a telescope. See figure 1.
The next step was to imagine that all of them were stacked into the first and largest diameter, section. Figuring that pipe length is usually 21 feet, then the gin pole would only have to lift 21 feet plus 4 lengths of connectors. This largest diameter setup, with all the other lengths inside, would be put in the hole in the solid rack. Now digging such a hole would not be easy.
After the first section had been cemented in and left to cure, a gin pole was erected. It could have been leaned up against and attached to the wooden crossarm for stability. Then the top piece (with light as suggested in the newspaper article) and cable pulley for the flag was put on and this first , smallest section was raised and the connector tightened. I think the mules were used via a long cable to the gin hoist. The other sections were raised and one was fitted with the 4 guy cables that were anchored in solid rock.
These cables were adjusted to keep the pole in a perfectly upright position. A few feet below each connection there are bolts put in to keep the upper pole from slipping sown in case the connector became loose. There are also, several bolts in the side of the first and largest pipe in the ground, just below the connector. I think these were used to keep the next section from tilting at it’s bottom inside the larger pipe. The whole setup is an amazing feat of planning and engineering. It is my feeling that next summer it might be possible to lower the sections into each other, check it for wear and then put a new pulley system at the top and new guy wires and raise it back up. Then a flag could be flown at will. This would insure that McGillites would have their flagpole for another 100 years or longer.
I am working with others on this and would appreciate any help.
Contact me at P.O. Box, 1315, McGill, Nv. 89318