and then what I beleive is the southfield slope entrance, going back with the snorkel,
The old raillines used to be out in plain site during the mid 70's in an area between the houses on Smugglers Hill/Sherwood Drive and Departure Bay Road from behind the corner house on Smugglers/Departure Bay down to the area where Bowstring Close is today.
The fences behind each of the houses did not enroach the railroad ties or rails. The railroad was between each properties fences.
It looks like you might have found the slope I was referring to....by "open" I meant open enough to crawl into...there was a build up of slag at the entrance, but the slope looked to go down quite a distance (if one was so inclined : )
I'm afraid my days of crawling around are long since past although I am envious of the cool stuff you guys are photographing ( those bats are awsome!) I think this was probably a small independent operation, pretty much I think all that we're likely to find in any state of open-all the major adits will have long since been sealed by the ministry of mines...BTW, just finished a good book from the library, reccommend it to any local history buffs...it's called "the Southenders" and it's an oral history record of folks who grew up in the blue collar southend of Nanaimo...besides being a blast from the past for old farts like me it offers a few hints at likely spots to do a little "hunting" within the city limits....like the area behind the hell's angels clubhouse etc....maybe a real long shot relic wise, but a real nice glimpse into Southend Nanaimo history from the 20's right up to the 70's
Where the pavement ends"
For a pretty good primer on where to start hunting for local mine locations, this list seems fairly complete, although I can't vouch for the accuracy of all the mine listing coordinates, most seem pretty close...have a look at :
Where the pavement ends"
So seaman and I headed out looking for mines today. I showed him the big cave dpill and I were at last month. We went to take a few photos and noticed bats flying around. The first photo shows the group of them clinging to the side of the cave wall, about 20 feet up.
The first mine entrance we came across was sealed but you could reach your hand down into it and feel air blowing out. We looked around at the other openings further down and found another spot that had air venting through. We started digging around one of the spots and opened up a decent sized hole big enough to squeeze through. We could see that it was another slope entrance with 2 tunnels heading off in different directions. We took some gear and followed each one down about 500 feet to the point where the shaft had flooded. The 2 were tunnels that just kept on going. Everything looks like it had caved in and we were walking along the top of the rubble but there was plenty of good air inside, we think there are other openings and tunnels nearby that hook up to these 2 and are also open.
It was a nice find, 2 for 1 indeed!
We have yet to find the airshafts mentioned in previous postings but I think there are a string of mines in the area waiting to be discovered. So far at least half of the open mine shafts and tunnels that we have been inside are not posted on any of the maps that we have been using as reference. We have a general idea of where to look and always seem to locate an unmapped entrance leaving us wondering exactly how many more are out there?
Thanks for posting the photos of our new find, seaman.
I just wanted to point out a couple of things in these next 2 photos, taken underground by seaman.
This photo illustrates the deterioration of the abandoned coal mines around town. When we follow the tunnel, we are walking along debris that has fallen down from the roof. The mine almost looks 'back-filled' by coal cars dumping piles of slack, one after another, upon the mine's closure to help seal it up. But the reality, of course, is that the mines have caved in. You go so far down and you hit fresh water, or you don't make it there because the roof has collapsed.
I noticed both mines followed the coal seam down at the same angle, you could see the seam in the walls. More fascinating was the way the soil was all layered around us. You could see layers of sandstone as well as other unidentified layers, all different colours. I could see how and why the whole place was caving in. The tunnels were probably around 8 feet high at one point, so much debris has fallen down that the original workings have disappeared and you follow a 3 or 4 foot passageway knowing that you're standing around roof level judging by the various timbers sticking out of the ground in a vertical fashion.