02-25-2011 09:19 PM
Thanks for coming out to install (christen) the Dunsmuir 1911 coal car
Thought I would go with the black & white theme for these post-installation images of the car.
02-26-2011 08:13 AM
Those black and white photos look great! I also have some photos of a brass Davy lantern used down in the mines that were taken yesterday afternoon. The lantern isn't from Nanaimo but it dates back to the coal mining era. I'll post them now, they were taken from a residence in the Edgewood subdivision (the string of condos that line the ridge above Departure Bay). You can see the Bay in the background.
Last edited by GR74; 02-26-2011 at 08:26 AM.
Reason: manage attachments
02-26-2011 08:20 AM
02-27-2011 09:33 AM
This is another artifact belonging to Peter Roosen, a vintage mine signal bell. It caught my eye as we walked through his mine a couple of days ago and I stopped and stared at it, fascinated. Unknown as to which specific mine it came out of or its exact age, the bell has obviously spent many years underground judging by its present condition. I tried to imagine the excitement of exploring a newly discovered abandoned mine and walking down to discover this artifact secured to a timber in complete darkness. I wonder if they were also made out of brass.
02-27-2011 10:35 AM
Bell - from Loudon Mine
I got the bell myself about 30 years ago while Jim Addison was still alive. He took me to the Loudon Mine to retrieve it. I think that mine is still accessible (it was last year) although the opening is just big enough for a rabbit (or GR?) to fit through. It was not forcefully sealed, but rather had stuff erode from the sides gradually filling the entrance to the way it is now. I met the current owner of the property who was just in the process of redeveloping the property last year so there is a good chance it is now under a house or garden shed like a couple portals on the other side of Gilfillan Road are. I had the bell working at the time but it has somehow seized again. A little WD40 would get it working again.
Jim was quite a character and already quite old at the time. He bought a property just down the hill from me here and visited from time to time. He claims to have been the guy who set off the explosive charge underneath Long Lake that hit a gravel seam and caused the #5 Mine to flood and create an underground water linkage between Long Lake and Diver Lake. He told me that they managed to get all the mules and men out safely (mules being worth more than men). The No. 5 Mine shaft being near where the coal slack heap is on the west side of Diver Lake.
I've attached some photos of Bill Loudon's mine plus a nice 1979 press clipping - all from the Nanaimo archives which is a good place to go and find such interesting items. There is a great group of volunteers and a professional archivist there at the archives who know all sorts of things about the area's history (and current affairs).
Last edited by Peter Roosen; 02-27-2011 at 09:22 PM.
Reason: added Loudon Mine photos and article
02-27-2011 11:25 AM
Awesome stuff, the bell and the brass lantern and Bill Loudon (I always wondered where that local name came from). Thanks you guys.
02-28-2011 05:54 PM
No problem, riverrat. This stuff never goes out of style.
Thanks for the info on the bell, P.R. It's always nice to have accurate information. I am posting a couple of pictures of the rail that we were looking at the other day. The first photo is the 1882 'British' steel that you pointed out from the CPR. I think the second photo is the rail from the Grand Trunk Railroad? It's looking like it says CPR, was wondering where the Grand Trunk piece was hiding. We spoke briefly on the topic before loading rail ties into your truck for delivery to GBritt's place last Friday. Fun stuff!
Last edited by GR74; 02-28-2011 at 07:09 PM.
02-28-2011 07:41 PM
Interesting to see a picture of Bill Loudon after all these many years. I went down one of his 'small mines' some years ago (likely in the late 70s), and measured a number of sections in the pillars that remained. The photo is of the No.2 or 'Little Wellington' coal bed, about 20 metres above the Wellington Main coal bed. The intervening strata are siltstones and concretionary mudstones of unit N1 of the Northfield Member of the Extension Formation. The immediate roof of the No.2 coal is a hard siltstone, only a few decimetres thick, above which is at least 9 metres of very hard, strong gritty pebble-conglomerate and pebbly sandstone of unit N2. The conglomerate forms the ground surface at the north end of the synclinal structure within which these small mines were developed.
The largest of the operations in the No.2 coal bed was the Wellington-Extension No.9 Mine, which had started life as one of the King & Foster mines. No.9 was worked by advancing longwall, with a main slope running southwesterly and diagonal slopes running mainly down to the south. The limit of working was at the elevation of the standing water pool in the underlying Wellington No.1 and Old Adit workings. The problem here was that the siltstone between the two coal beds was so profoundly broken by the depillaring of the underlying old workings, that there was an easy flow path for the mine water up into the No.9 workings.
You'll note that Mr Loudon is kneeling. The working section here was, very roughly:
-- top coal 10 cm
-- carbonaceous mudstone parting 40 cm
-- bottom coal 60 to 65 cm
The No.2 coal was hard and blocky, as can be seen in the photo of the loaded car, and also evident in the photo of the working face. Mining this coal would have required drilling and shooting the mudstone parting, then sorting out the coal from the loose rock and gobbing the rock along the sides of the roadways. Going in the No.2 workings, you'd see a line of props along one side of the entries, usually but not always the left side of the entries going in (since that's easier for most people to shovel rock to that side), partially walled-up with wide planks to hold the gobbed rock.
There's a lot of sulphur in that coal, probably too much to make it saleable in today's markets. I'd suspect that the overlying conglomerate was a wedge of beach material, soaked in sea-water during deposition, and thus providing a regrettably-efficient mechanism for the transfer of sulphur into the underlying peat during the ealy stages of coalification.
02-28-2011 10:16 PM
original Canadian Pacific Railway steel from 1881 & 1882
That other rail over the service pit is a little harder to read from your photo but it is labelled "C.P.R. Steel Krupp 1881". It seems that the Germans and not just the British were quite involved with the construction of Canada's confederation railway. Here's a photo of my CPR key chain pendant "1881" that I received from the CPR president 5 years ago in Calgary. I have been in the railway locomotive business for too long so switched to edible plastics in case you saw the clip on Shaw tv today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFUO53fNenY
The Grand Trunk didn't quite make it to the island although the Canadian Northern Pacific did (sort of since they only got part way through constructing the line through to Port Alberni before walking away from job a hundred years ago).
Love that detail Gwyneth! Any update on the Raven project?
Last edited by Peter Roosen; 03-03-2011 at 06:36 PM.
03-01-2011 08:47 AM
Good morning! Here's a link to the current pre-feasibility study for Raven Coal. It's an 18MB download in PDF format.
By the bye, although I have long history with the Tsable River coal property and the Island coalfields in general, I don't draw a paycheque from the current owner of the property, nor do I claim to speak for them. ^_^
If anyone's interested, here's a press release from Electra Gold, summarising our year-2009 study of the thermal coal at Suquash Colliery, up near Port Hardy. Our report itself is at the SEDAR website, in PDF format at 13 MB file size, free to download although one must fill out a CAPTCHA request.