Tour brings coal mining back to life

Nanaimo’s coal mining heritage is brought to life in a walk through the past with historian Tom Paterson.

Paterson leads two of his Black Track tours of Morden Colliery Mine this spring, recreating the days when coal mining was the economic and industrial focus of Vancouver Island.

The tour assembles at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park in South Wellington May 6 and May 27, where 100 years ago, the Pacific Coast Coal Mining Company began drilling two shafts at its new mine.

In its short life Morden Colliery was to become well known throughout B.C. and elsewhere for its above-ground head frame towering 22 metres in the air, and its adjoining tipple, innovative in use of reinforced concrete and other technological advances.

Morden’s head frame and tipple still stand, looming up as reminders of a once thriving, coal-producing mine, one of two such remaining above-ground structures in North America.

Tour tickets are $30 per person or $25 each for two or more in a party.  Proceeds go to repair the rapidly deteriorating head frame and tipple.

To purchase a ticket, please e-mail or call 250-714-0377.

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