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

Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read