06-18-2012 09:27 AM
Gosh, I wish I was out on the Island right now, but instead I'm up in the Rockies digging coal (with 506 other good folks) to fill trains for export.
It's a great time to be **in** the coal business: high coal prices mean there's money for equipment and people, to the extent that you can obtain either given the prevailing shortages. Lots of jobs in the mines for those who want them....
GR74: a word of caution (which I would imagine you'd already considered, anyway) -- is there a functional gauze screen inside those Lee Valley lamps? The screen is essential to safe functioning of any Davy lamp, but it's an item that's too-often missing from modern reproductions.
Peter: lovely dual-guage switch, there. It dawns on me that you might be a worthy recipient of my spare copies of various old treatises on colliery-engineering, although I am not likely to part with my copy of Bulman and Redmayne's Colliery Working and Management, which has in its front flyleaf the rubber-stamp marking 'Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company', with fingerprint marks in coal-dust on the page showing an engraving of a longwall faceline.
Link to a scan of the book, via the Internet Archive, here: http://archive.org/details/collieryworking00redmgoog
06-18-2012 10:15 PM
06-22-2012 03:37 AM
Mining Heritage Celebrated
Nanaimo News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012
07-29-2012 05:25 PM
a delightful visit to Nanaimo's newest old mine
I am just now finishing my two days off work, and on my way back North (via Cassidy airport). This afternoon, while coming down Island, I had just enough time to stop and visit with Peter's delightful folks for fifteen minutes, and have a tantalisingly-brief look in the 'newest old mine'.
Peter: lovely trackwork, fine timbering, all it needs is some pull-bell signal lines or maybe a pair of wires for a mine-telephone. Dunmsuirs were enthusiastically-early adopters of telephony, after all.
Most of my pictures came out fuzzy in an atmospheric sort of way, but I did get a couple of good ones looking out around the corners to the portals, and one of the lovely switch near the driveway.
Well done, indeed!
07-29-2012 06:53 PM
Thanks Gwyneth. Didn't know about the Dunsmuirs being early adopters of telephony until seeing this. Makes sense that they would be, given the available railway right of ways, etc.
Originally Posted by gwyneth
07-29-2012 06:58 PM
Duchess locomotive article
Old Nanaimo locomotive is now on display in the Yukon
Train buff wants city to acquire and preserve impressive piece of city's history
Robert Barron, Daily News
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A piece of Nanaimo's history, an old train locomotive, is on display in the Yukon and a history enthusiast from Esquimalt is encouraging the city to acquire and preserve it.
John Roberts came across pictures of the Duchess, which has been restored and is now displayed prominently in Carcross, Yukon, while researching into old motor vehicles and trains in B.C. at the provincial archives in Victoria.
The Duchess was built in 1878 for the Dunsmuir, Diggle & Company in Nanaimo to haul coal from the Wellington coal mine to Departure Bay for shipment to markets.
Built by the Baldwin locomotive Works, Victoria arrived in Nanaimo in 1889. The historic train now rests in Pipers Park.View Larger Image Built by the Baldwin locomotive Works, Victoria arrived in Nanaimo in 1889. The historic train now rest in Pipers Park.
Krista Bryce/Daily News
It was one a matched set of locomotives, with the other called the Duke, that were shipped to Nanaimo from the manufacturers in the U.S. to work for the coal mining company in 1878.
Roberts said he was surprised to discover a piece of Nanaimo's history displayed in Carcross, a border town that straddles B.C. and the Yukon, in his research and brought it to the attention of city officials.
Nanaimo mayor John Ruttan said he thinks it would be a "great idea" to bring the old locomotive home to the city, but there's a lot of "unanswered questions" that have to considered before any serious efforts would be made to acquire it.
"It's an interesting concept, but we have no idea at this time what the costs would be to bring it here," Ruttan said.
"We also already have the historic No. 19 locomotive engine on display in Piper Park downtown so I have to wonder whether really need another one in the city, particularly since we haven't really done a great deal with the one we have."
Chris Sholberg, the city's heritage planner, said the Duke and the Duchess worked in Nanaimo for more than two decades hauling coal between Wellington and Departure Bay before the Duke was scrapped and the Duchess was sold to the Yukon & Whitehorse Railway, likely for hauling lumber.
Sholberg said that while there's no doubt the Duchess is of historical value to Nanaimo, he agreed that Nanaimo already has an example of the type of locomotives that were used at the time in the train in Piper Park.
He added that the community of Carcross, which restored the Duchess for display there, may not be willing to part with it because it's a part of the past in their town as well.
"Acquiring the locomotive and bringing it here may not be realistic," Sholberg said.
"Besides, I think our bases are covered with the No. 19 on display here."
Ruttan said council will consider the request, but doubted the plan will move forward.
"Unless acquiring and moving the locomotive is a part of some huge sponsorship opportunity, I just don't see it happening," he said.
© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2012
COMMENTS ON THIS STORY
Add Your Comment
Tue, Jul 24, 12 at 06:14 PM
The Duchess was a Wellington Colliery engine like "Thomas the tank engine" which didn't normally leave the yard. (Wellington's Departure Bay yard in this case.) The #19 locomotive downtown was a big strappin Wellington Colliery Locomotive which hauled coal and cars down the E&N Mainline and was much bigger and very different. Saying they are the same is like saying a 1960s Volkswagon van is the same as a 30' Airstream. Regardless neigther of these engines belong in downtown Nanaimo as they worked exclusively out of Departure Bay and Wellington and Nanaimo was the competition. The city should still try to acquire the Duchess, but it should go to departure bay. (And they should move the #19 somewhere relevant as well.)
Tue, Jul 24, 12 at 11:03 PM
Carcross refurbished the Dutchess for their own history. And what else do they have there ? Not much. But the cost of redoing these old relics is not cheap. Most is a labour of love. I agree the #19 should be placed in a more auspicious spot. How about taking out the down town fountain and placing the engine there.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 10:25 AM
this strikes me as George Washington slept here logic. Just because it was in Nanaimo at one point in time does not mean it is a big part of our history. Yukon has a link to it and they spent the $$$$s restoring it - why would we even think to want to spend any $$$$s on it? Oh I know one of the highly overpaid city employees can buy it and donate it.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 11:02 AM
contacted person requesting purchase of Duchess. had no idea if it was for sale. Getting mighty tired of people (newspaper included which is micro filmed) rewriting our history. Engine in Piper Park is the Duke, twin to the Duchess donated by Bob Swanson. Why do somepeople even want change of location of the Duke, Bob has left us knowing where it is. One may raise question to the engine in Piper Park being the Duke, but boiler inspection records match the boiler number. The newspaper owes everyone a correction especially when the newspaper is used in history research.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 11:19 AM
Thanks for the write up about the history of the Duchess locomotive.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 01:59 PM
The steam engine in Piper Park should definitely be moved to a more prominent location, such as in front of the restored Nanaimo Railway Station. As for the engine in Carcross, the cost of buying it and shipping it to Nanaimo would be too high, even it the Carcross people were willing to sell it, which is unlikely. Dream on.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 05:34 PM
The duchess would be welcome in Wellington. I would be happy to fund and carry out the relocation. I went to the Yukon in '08 to assess the situation and was told there would be an old fashioned hanging from the highest tree in Carcross if caught.
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 06:50 PM
I made a point of visiting Piper Park today and spoke with Parker Williams who helped renovate engine #19. Williams told me that engine #19 was also called "The Victorian" - it's not the "Duke" mentioned by Fred Taylor. If Fred wants to dispute that he should talk to Parker Williams. And I agree with OLD KOOT. Let's replace the shoddy fountain just down from the new TD Bank with engine #19.
Fri, Jul 27, 12 at 11:54 AM
Leave DUCHESS where it is. They are proud of it and are looking after it and it has been there for about 110 years now, more than I can say for the #19 which is in Nanaimo. Put your efforts into restoring the 19 and displaying it properly restored in a proper location where it can be appreciated and displayed properly. Doug
09-02-2012 05:08 AM
Good morning, all!
Gwyneth here, in the cool morning of suburban Boston, where I am on vacation from my more-customary work in the coal mines. I'm sending along a weblink for a digitised copy of Bulman and Redmayne's classic textbook, 'Colliery Working and Management', which I recently recommended to Peter Roosen as a reference-book for his reconstruction efforts.
I am a bit taken aback to find out, also this morning via Google, of a disastrous explosion at one of the underground coal-mining projects I worked on whilst in China. All seven miners on-shift at the time were killed, apparently by a spontaneous outbust of gas and coal. I have, somewhere in my filing-cabinets, a technical paper which I wrote back in 1978 (!), exploring the likelihood of gas and coal outbursts from new workings in the Nanaimo Coalfield. Those of you who are still fossicking about in the old workings near Extension need not worry about this, as it appears that the Extension Mines never reached the critical depth-of-cover (on the order of 240 metres' depth), even in the 'underlap' area of the southernmost workings off the old main tunnel.
09-02-2012 05:43 AM
One more book scan: this one directly linked from the Internet Archive, and coming with interesting advertisements and marginalia from its era: the ninth edition (1905) of 'The Coal and Metal Miner's Pocketbook', published by the International Textbook Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. A copy of this book is in the collection of the Cumberland Museum and Archives, inscribed as being owned by Thomas Graham. I daresay that the mining engineers of the day in Nanaimo also knew of this book.
09-24-2012 03:20 PM
New Douglas Mining Site - 29June 2012
Hey guys. Busy summer finally came to an end....
I was out in the south end of Nanaimo (the Chase River end of Old Victoria Road last June) when I spotted some coal slack spread around a vacant lot in the midst of some more surburban developement. I was told the site was being prepared for the construction of a Jehovah's Witnesses Hall.
Here are some pictures:
09-24-2012 03:34 PM
New Douglas Mining Site - 29 June 2012
I stopped to take a look around for artifacts unearthed during the site preparation and discovered that the construction workers found a large steel rivetted pipe. The pipe was around 10-12 feet in length with the opening measuring about 1 foot in diameter.
I have no history for you regarding the New Douglas Mine but will post a few more photos. The pictures were taken with my cell phone.