TABLE OF CONTENTS
Walter (Wally) Wallace was the founder and manager of a number of leather clubs in New York City from the 1975 until 1996. Clubs that he founded include Excelsior MC (1975-present), the Mineshaft (December 1976- November 1985), the Attic (1986-1996), LURE (January 1994-April 2003), and 257 West 29th St. Storefront location (1997-?). The Mineshaft, was publicly shut down after “nine years and nine days” by the New York City Department of Health on November 6, 1985 among widespread fear that gay bathhouses were contributing to the spread of AIDS. It was the first closure of its kind in New York City and set the legal precedent that led to the closure of the Attic eleven years later. The Attic was closed at its 410 W 14th Street location on July 2, 1996 by the New York City Department of Health for permitting Acts of Fellatio on the premises. The closure of the Attic led to the opening of the Storefront location shortly thereafter.
Wally received BA in Speech and English from Drury College in Springfield, MO. He went on to study film production at the New York University School of Continuing Education. Wally worked as an actor on stage and television in Springfield, MO and New York City before founding his first leather club, Excelsior MC with Terry M., David T. and Rich D. in 1975. In late 1976, he founded the Mineshaft and for the next 20 years managed leather bars in New York City. Wally was very active in the gay leather community holding a number for benefits for the community. He was involved in putting on a number of contests including Interchain’s Mr. Leather, The Leather and Uniform Daddies Contest, Big Apple Leather Daddies Uniform Contest and Mr. Northeast Drummer. Wally Wallace also signed his name W. J. Wallace and received checks and letters addressed to him at Shaftway Productions. He died September 7, 1999.
The collection includes approximately 1 linear foot (2 archival boxes) of records and 1 box of artifacts. The records focus primarily on two clubs managed by Wally Wallace, the Mineshaft and the Attic. These consist of newsletters, flyers, personal and business communications, newspaper clippings, certificates, photos, original drawings and documentation resulting from legal proceedings. Papers in the collection date from November 1974- April 1997. Newsletters concerning the activities of the Attic and news clippings concerning the closing of the Mineshaft are particularly thorough in their coverage. Folder 5 contains a letter to the SSCA Steering Committee from Tony DeBlase.
2002-00175 Mineshaft, black tank top with silver imprint, 2002-00176 Mineshaft, black t-shirt with white imprint, 2002-00177 Mineshaft, white t-shirt with black imprint, 2002-00910 Mineshaft NY pik Poster, 14 in. X 17.5 in., 2002-01032 Mineshaft NY Lift Poster, 12 in. X 19 in., 2002-01046 Mineshaft NY Drill Poster, 12 in. X 18.75 in., 2002-01147 Mineshaft IL Poster, 17 in. X 22 in., 2002-01153 Mineshaft NY pic Poster, 14 in. X 17.5 in., 2004-00050 Mineshaft Attender Photography Collection, approx. 176 photos of Mineshaft, bar contests, etc., 2005-00692 Mineshaft bar pin, 2005-01427 The Mineshaft Dress Code, 19 in. X 24 in. Poster, 2005-01651 Renslow, Chuck Interview (Full) (Missing Pages) mentions Mineshaft, Cardini, Leo. Mineshaft Nights. Teaneck, NJ: FirstHand Books, 1990, 407 Address sign for Wally’s Party, LURE Angles by Muriel Castanis, LURE collection includes articles and references to Wally Wallace’s death.
Mineshaft binder prepared by LA and M containing Photo Album, AIDS/legal documents, and “Back to the Leather Future: New York City” an unpublished short play First Tom of Finland Foundation Dispatch from Fall 1989 Limited Edition Print of Tom of Finland’s “Shoe,” 183 of 300 A Decade of S/M Pride published by Gay Male S/M Activists on the occasion of its Tenth Anniversary, March 8-9, 1991 with insert of Conference Events. VHS tape of 1996 Northeast Drummer Contest 4”X 12” leather and chain “Mineshaft” plaque. Lure logo temporary tattoo
Materials were donated in one box. Some items had been placed in labeled folders, however, not all folder contents matched their labels. Many materials were found loosely in the box without any system of organization. The processor has therefore artificially arranged the collection unless otherwise noted. The processor organized materials according to document type and/or topic. Within folders, materials have been arranged chronologically where possible with the exception of folders 16,17,18,23, 24, and 25 which are in their original order. In instances where the folder label accurately described its contents or the folder contained material related to a common topic, original order has been maintained.