Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park. File photo

Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park. File photo

B.C. government commits $1.4 million to restore Morden Mine near Nanaimo

Restoration work to begin next week at park

The future of Morden Mine appears to no longer be in doubt.

The provincial government announced Thursday it has committed $1.4 million to restore Morden Mine’s concrete headframe and tipple structure at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park, south of Nanaimo.

Restoration work is expected to take more than a year to complete, according to a government press release, which notes that crews will be stabilizing the seven-storey-high mining structure over the next two months, resulting in temporary closures to the park.

“This park is a vital reminder of the significant role of coal mining communities on Vancouver Island,” Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, said in a press release.

Plans are also in the works to develop a multi-use trail that connects Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park to nearby Hemer Provincial Park, the release notes.

Constructed in 1912, Morden Mine is Canada’s only remaining concrete coal tipple and headframe and one of two left in North America, with the other one – O’Gara No. 12 Mine – located in Illinois.

RELATED: B.C. government announces it will help preserve Morden Mine

RELATED: Morden Mine undergoes structural study

Sandra Larocque, Friends of Morden Mine president, said the announcement brought her to tears and that the long-term future of the structure is no longer in doubt.

“It’s going to be here for a long time now,” she said.

Larocque said the money is coming from B.C. Parks and that B.C. Heritage stabilization efforts will begin April 15 and that the park will be closed periodically while crews install shipping containers around the structure.

“Crews are going to be using shipping containers to kind of scaffold the mine so it won’t fall down and give people a secure foundation for people to work on it,” she said.

Once the mine’s structure is stabilized, the remaining restoration work won’t impact people’s ability to access the park, said Larocque.

In recent years the province and FOMM have carried out assessment work including an engineering analysis on Morden Mine as part of an effort to determine what action was needed to restore the structure. In 2017, the province committed $25,000 to conserving the mine’s structures.

Larocque, whose father and grandfather were both coal miners, said she’s very thankful for provincial government’s latest investment and wishes there were provincial laws similar to Illinois state law, which mandates O’Gara No. 12 Mine be maintained.

“We’ve lost so much heritage,” she said. “We can put all the mine monuments up that we want but [the structure] can give people a visual history lesson.”

Details about closures at Morden Colliery Provincial Park can be found at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/morden/

RELATED: Society ends fight to save Morden Mine

RELATED: City’s coal history should be preserved

RELATED: Exhibit mines deep into Nanaimo’s coal history



nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Crofton man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Nanaimo Airport’s terminal building. (File photo)
Nanaimo Airport faces steep decline in passenger counts

Nanaimo Airport CEO Dave Devana says it will take years to return to 2019 levels

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Pnina Benyamini strikes a yoga pose. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read