Britannia Mine Museum: A Story from the Past | jncd

Britannia Mine Museum: A Story from the Past

Posted on Aug 8, 2014

I recently paid a visit to the Britannia Mine Museum, located between Vancouver and Whistler. While the exhibitions were well executed and choreographed, what resonated most was the history of the location. In the 1920s, Britannia was a remote community. Lacking a working highway, access to the area was exclusively by steam boat. Unsurprisingly, working life at the time was no less arduous. Miners worked under candle light in tight, confined spaces measuring 6' × 6'. The goal of the back-breaking work was to extract as much copper ore from the surrounding rock as possible. Indeed, at the height of its operations in 1929, the Britannia mine was the largest copper producer in the British Commonwealth.

In an age of social media and technology, it’s easy to lose sight of how our forbears once lived. It’s humbling to learn about the hardships that workers endured and how a local community sustained itself.

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A view from a mine shaft.

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Geologists extracted vast ore samples, and re-examined them from time to time, to determine if a particular area was worth mining again.

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Workers had to traverse a vast staircase, several stories high, to get to their working areas.

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