The Morden Mine tipple and headframe structure has undergone $1.4 million in restoration work, which included strengthening the 108-year-old concrete structure and new fencing around the historical site south of Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The Morden Mine tipple and headframe structure has undergone $1.4 million in restoration work, which included strengthening the 108-year-old concrete structure and new fencing around the historical site south of Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Restoration work finished at Morden Mine historical site

$1.4-million project strengthens mine structure south of Nanaimo

The Morden Mine tipple won’t topple any time soon, thanks to recent concrete restoration work.

Work on the historic Nanaimo coal mine structure was completed this month after nearly a year of work to replace sections of the 108-year-old concrete headframe and tipple structure at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park, in Nanaimo’s South Wellington area.

Built by the Pacific Coal Company, the 22.5-metre-tall headframe and tipple structure were used to load coal into railroad cars for transport. It was the first of its kind in the Nanaimo region and is one of only two structures of its kind left in North America. The structure was recognized as a national historic site in 1971. The provincial park was established in 1972 to protect the deteriorating site. In April 2019, the province contributed $1.4 million to the Friends of Morden Mine’s efforts to conserve the historic pieces.

story continues below

The restoration work, completed by B.C. Parks, the heritage branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development and the Friends of Morden Mine, presented unique challenges, which included stabilizing the structure with 16 shipping containers and extensive shoring for workers, due to the deterioration and large spans in the headframe. Some of the shipping containers weighed almost 8,000 kilograms and had to be threaded between the ruin’s fragile posts and beams with just centimetres of clearance on either side.

“Friends of Morden Mine are so pleased that this has finally happened. It feels wonderful to come and look up at the headframe and know it will not fall over,” Sandra Laroque, Friends of Morden Mine president, who lobbied for years to preserve the site, said in a press release. “Preserving this structure is important so future generations can see how it was done on a real-life scale. It’s amazing to see everyone be able to see history, as a picture cannot do it justice.”

For more information about Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park, visit http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/morden/.

READ ALSO: Restoration work stabilizes Morden Mine tipple south of Nanaimo



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

coal minehistorymining

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

Just Posted

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees in Oyster Bay

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Ladysmith’s Taylor Walters received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and is hard at work pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction at Quest University. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith teen receives Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for advocating equal access to STEM opportunities

‘Different people think differently and that’s so important for innovation,’ Taylor Walters says

A vehicle is totalled after a driver crashed into the side of a tow truck outside Central Island Towing. (Cole Schisler photo)
Car totalled after colliding with the back of a tow truck in Ladysmith

Nobody was injured, but repairs on the tow truck are expected to cost thousands of dollars

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read