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Swanson, Robert: Railways, locomotives, and mines in Nanaimo, 1965

 

Nanaimo Historical Society Fonds

Series 2 Sound Recordings

Tape 40  - Folder 98

Transcribed by Lois Park in June/July 2008

October 12, 1965 – Mr. R.E. (Robert) Swanson speaking to the Nanaimo Historical Society

Subject:  Old railways, Locomotives, Mines, etc.

Note:  Transferred from 7” tape August 21, 2001 DHT.  There is a fading of the voice and you can hear rustling as he shows maps and pictures.

[Loud noise]

That was the old mine whistle. 

That mine was sunk, the shaft of that mine was sunk in 1883, 655 feet deep and they went after all the Douglas seams around Nanaimo were beginning to get worked out, the geologists found that the seam dipped and went down for about 500 feet and then under the harbour and gradually dipped out towards Vancouver and out towards the reserve.   So when they put this mine down in 1883 they had sixty years of coal ahead of them.  And this 1883 was a great year for Nanaimo because this is when industry came into its own in Nanaimo.

But first, let’s go behind that a little.  After the pioneers came here in about 1850 they found coal, of course, there was some little bits of coal around Nanaimo but somebody found coal at Wellington and I believe Bob Dunsmuir overheard somebody talking about it because he was working for the Nanaimo Coal Company at the time and he was suppose to have gone out there hunting one day with an Indian and he found where a tree had up rooted out near Wellington and he found a fine seam of coal.   He prospected a little, then he thought now “I didn’t find this when I was on the company’s pay, I found it on my own time”.

So he was working as a mining engineer for the Coal Company in Nanaimo and he was looking after the Harewood Mine at the time and the Harewood Mine built a tramway from Harewood right down to the water here to bring the coal down in buckets. 

But just before the Harewood Mine was opened and it was called after Lord Harewood, they projected a railway from Brechin Point and it went along Newcastle Avenue, it was never built but it was surveyed.  It turned around at the bottom of Newcastle Avenue by Westwood Parlor and it went up the Millstream and it crossed the Millstream at the [Quarterway?] and it ended by Bering Swamp and it went out the behind the Vocational School and it went right up to Harewood but that railway was never built.  That was in 1864, the map of that railway is filed in Victoria on linen.

The next thing then, so they built an aerial tramway from Harewood down to the water.

So then Dunsmuir left, Bob Dunsmuir left the Nanaimo Coal Company and he went out to Wellington.  But first he went to Victoria and in Victoria he hooked up with a Mr. Diggle who had some money and was to do with the Admiralty at Esquimalt.  He came up to Wellington and if I flip this maps over to show you where he came and what he did.  [rustling of paper being handled].

He came up to Wellington and the discovery was in this area here, this being Long Lake and this being Departure Bay, he found the old [Addit?] mine.  He went down in here and he mined in a small way and he had a few mules and he tried to cart the coal down to the bay.  Then he got a hold of, a couple of old threshing engines, like traction engines and laid a wooden pole road down to Departure Bay and laid on where it on where the old Departure Bay Road goes today.  It came down this way, down here and down to the Bay, he had a little wharf.  And this, then he laid some iron on top of 4 x 4 timbers and these this little threshing engines type things hauling the coal back and forth between that and the mules he made it go in a small way.

But around that time in 1878 there were some Cornish men came out, they are even canny then a Scotsman, the Cornish men.  The Cornish men came out and they found coal down here and they called the place South Wellington because it was south of Wellington.  

Wellington was called after the Duke of Wellington and anything with Wellington on, if it was connected with Wellington it was good coal.  Now these Cornish men, they got a little money from somewhere and they sunk a shaft down, that was later known as Number Two Shaft and that is on [Salmon’s?] Ranch out in Wellington, just south of Wellington on the flats.  And they put an incline up to the top of the bluff and they put a two foot six gauge railway and to the best of my knowledge the Duke and the Duchess ran on that railway, the two little locomotives.  To the best of my knowledge they were two foot six gauge and I say to the best of my knowledge because every day I have to change my mind when you are working with history.

It is not how you would like it to be, it is how it turned out at the time and if you are recording history you must record history, as it happened, not how you wanted it to happen.  So I think it was two-foot gauge railway but if someone proves it was a two-foot gauge or a two foot six gauge I will go along with it but I think it was two foot six inches.

That railway had an incline and a hoist at the top of the bluff.  The hoist was a compound steam hoist carrying sixty pounds of steam and it was run by a man called [Wardell?].  He was the fore bearer of all bicycle people.  I know this because old George [Banasky?] took me out there to that hoist one day about ten years ago and he said I came to this hoist and lived right here, right around this bluff here when I was twelve years old and my first job was lifting the little bridge off the railway to let the trains go and let the hoist hoist the coal up.  And he looked around and he went into a little depression in the ground.  “By George”, George [Banasky?] said, “By golly, look at that – there is Manny teapot” and he picked it up, he was a man of 73 years old and Manny’s teapot was lying in the ruins of the old basement and he picked up a few things and put them in his pocket.

While we were looking around [Spud ?] came along and we talked about old times and he remembered the railroads running and I was trying to get this information. 

Anyhow, this two foot six gauge railway after they hauled it up this about 20% – 25% grade it came along here, it went through Rosstown and it went along to Northfield, it went through Northfield and went along to where the High School is now, somewhere in this area here, then it cut down, there was no E&N Railway Line then, it cut down and went through by the Powder Works Gate and it switched down onto here, that switch – this railway wasn’t in, I’ll come to that in a minute – and it went down here and it went to the South Wellington wharf. 

Don’t confuse it with South Wellington down here.  This South Wellington use to be up here, this is new South Wellington, this is old South Wellington I’m talking about.

Now these Cornish men didn’t have too much money and they might have been canny, but they weren’t as canny as the Scotsmen because somehow or the rather and I don’t know quite how but they got, they trespassed on Dunsmuir’s property and some how or the other Dunsmuir got control of that railroad and he bought it out and the Cornish men sort of disappeared.

So in 1883 Dunsmuir decided and this is the Wellington estate and this is Dunsmuir’s map I got this from the Colliery and we photographed it in Victoria and it is an authentic copy and I will give the Society a copy of Dunsmuir’s estate in 1883.

Now there is a reason in 1883 why Dunsmuir did this – Dunsmuir was like a chicken when it crossed the road it was wanted to get on the other side.  He didn’t do anything for fun.  He went in 1883 and he was an MLA for the District at the time and he put the Wellington Colliery Railway Act through in 1883 and the purpose of the Act was to connect the wharfs of the South Wellington wharfs with the Wellington wharfs.  In 1883, in June 1883 Dunsmuir ordered a locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, later it was called Number 21 and it was named the Robert Dunsmuir.

That locomotive then was a three-foot gauge and it ran on this road here.  Now Dunsmuir redesigned this road in 1883 because I will show you the mine area here.  He had his original mine which was beginning to get worked out.  He sunk a mine down at Departure Bay called Number One Shaft, then when he somehow or the other got the coal from the Cornish men he called theirs the Number Two Shaft and they had the Water shaft over here.  Then he sunk Number Three shaft along side of it but there was a fault between Number Two and Three, so he went down Number Two about two hundred feet deep, that is on [Salmon’s?] farm, incidentally a pig fell down it one day and so [Salmon?] filled it in and made the collieries pay him $400.00 for filling it.  [Chuckles from the audience}  He did too!

So, they sunk Number Four and Number Four was sunk in about 1885.  I could be wrong on the date but it is in that area.  And Number Four was sunk 735 feet deep and the idea was instead of this incline and incidentally they had an old incline here and they built new incline along side of it.  Dunsmuir’s idea was that they put Number Four very very deep, incidentally Number Four is up behind Mr.[Maxie’s?] house out, that use to be [Maxie’s?] farm.  And they were going to get all the coal from this area and have a very deep shaft and let it run by gravity to the bottom of the shaft and then they would hoist it up, and very simple put it on the new three foot gauge railway and run it down to Departure Bay.

Incidentally he still ran this railway with the Duke and Duchess down to Departure Bay and he ran this railway too.  Then he sunk Number Five, Number Four and then Number Five and then there was an airshaft in between.  And as a little history this plan of his didn’t work out with deep deep shaft they had to up about three hundred feet put the timbers or needles across and operate at the same depth as all the other mines in the area two hundred eighty five feet down to the coal at the Wellington seam.

Now, when he did this they found Number Three shaft got on fire, it was a very fiery mine and the mining engineer said don’t connect the two mines or you will lose them both.  So they drilled through and they ran through into the other workings once in a while and put a wooden plug in. 

But Number Three finally got on fire and it somehow got Number Four on fire but Number Four and Five weren’t connected.  So they diverted the Mill Stream, they put a big ditch; you can still see it out on [Salmon’s?] farm an they diverted the Mill Stream and they ran it down Number Three shaft and it ran down there for months and it filled Number Three shaft nearly full or just up to the collar and it came up Number Four and it came up seventy feet up Number Two.  And after about a year when they pumped the mine out again by putting a big bucket on the hoist and hoisting out and a man called John Holland hoisted that mine out, Art Holland’s father.

They found the roads were full of mud and they had quite a hard time getting that mine going again but they had so much fire down in this area Number Three they finally wound Number Three up in about 1893 or 94.  They finished up and they worked Number Four and then they sunk Number Six over here.  And they continued the railway out to Number Six.

But then the E & N came onto to the scene, just like a sun rising, this E & N, it was a wonderful dream, it came from Ottawa, they had elections in those days too and they were going to get Victoria to join in with, not break away, but to join with Canada and they weren’t ceding but joining.  So this wonderful British Columbia joined with Ottawa and one of the terms was railway from the East right to Victoria.  So the railway was coming through to Vancouver in 1886 it got to Vancouver the old 374 pulled the first train into Vancouver. 

But Dunsmuir saw a chance to make some money, so he said you will have a wee bit of a railway from Nanaimo down to Esquimalt to connect the two and that would give you a railway to Victoria and the SS Joan will connect with Vancouver and that will get your railway to Victoria.  The was all kinds of screwball schemes to get the railway to Victoria but this was Dunsmuir’s and he went down to the Southern Pacific and the Union Pacific and he raised money because he was selling coal to those people for their railways and he got them to help him financially and he built the E & N Railway and it opened in 1887.  I think that is the correct date.
Anyway, the E & N Railway, the E & N Railway is not on this map, this could be it here, this is the E & N survey here.  It came right through Nanaimo, we all know where the E & N comes along now but this top part was called the Comox extension in those days and it went from Nanaimo to Esquimalt.  Now when he was doing this, he no longer need the little railway that we were discussing, he no longer needed this little railway so he just discontinued its use.

And then he had connected his own railway and enlarged it and made it better and he also now had two wharfs so he brought everything this way.  And he had the Twenty-One which was the Robert Dunsmuir and then he widened out the Duke and Duchess as a mechanic and an engineer he disconnected the front driver and he moved the main rod on the outside – uh inside of the pin and the side rods to the outside and you can look at the picture over there and you can see how he did it. 

And I don’t know what other locomotives he had on this run but then along came about 1887 the Nanaimo Coal Company, they said “By George you know we are doing alright here but let’s get on this Wellington, let’s call it Wellington Nanaimo Coal, we’ve got to get Wellington in there somehow.”  So seeing that Dunsmuir had more or less done away with this railway that went down to the bay and he wasn’t using it, they sent some surveyors, a man by the name of Alexander surveyed this and he decided to go out to the Northfield shaft where they had the bore holes and he drilled down and found the coal at, I think it was 565 feet, they, it should tell you on here, 364 feet down to the coal.   

So he was going to widen the gauge out to standard gauge because the Nanaimo Coal Mines always worked standard gauge, they were never narrow gauge; Dunsmuir was a narrow gauge man until he went into the E & N.  Now then he came along and they laid their grade out and followed the old railway and it was going to cross right where the E & N was recently put in, just that year, they were going to put in a diamond crossing and go down to their own Brechin Point. 

Dunsmuir came along and he said what are you doing here Robin.  And Mr. Robin of Nanaimo Company said “oh, we going to put a railway from the Northfield mine now down we have the Southfield mine, we now have the Northfield mine and he said oh you’ll no cross level, you can go under you can go over but you no go level.  Well Robins said what are we going to do.  You can do as you like but you’ll no go level.  So he was forced then to put a switch back up here and go down under and cut the top of the stack off and he had the old London and he had the Nanaimo were on that run according to old Charlie [Snowden?], no not the London the Five, the San Francisco, the London was the four wasn’t it?  He had the Four and the Nanaimo on that run.

They went down to the bay and came along here and the Northfield railway came down here, this is the map signed in 1888, a true copy.  And they went down to Brechin Point and they had a large dump which you will see on this picture over here – one, two, the third picture – that is the same dump, that is No. 2 Northfield mine that they located at Brechin.

Now remember the story about not going level because this is a very very important thing in Nanaimo’s history and Ladysmith history. 

This is another survey that Dunsmuir made, where he was going to take his railway from No. 4 shaft across about to where the golf course is but he improved the present railway, the old grade that is in there now and went to the bay.  We have pictures here of Dunsmuir’s locomotives at Departure Bay.

Now I will just have to leave Dunsmuir alone for a minute and come back to Nanaimo.  Nanaimo in the early days worked all the shafts of the Douglas seam around Nanaimo here, in Nanaimo proper and then they went to Chase River and they had a mine or two at Chase River.  I forget the names and numbers of those mines but they ran a railway along Nicol Street and the exact location from the bottom end of Nicol Street and from the fire hall it got down to the water somehow in the same area that the aerial tramway had come down. 

But they didn’t have a real railway down on the water front because there was a problem with the Indian Reservation but when they finally got around the Indian Reservation problem and got permission from Ottawa they built a railway from No.1 and built all the docks out here and went right down to Number 3 junction they called it at Chase River, then they went up, they came down along the water front, along here and down to Chase River, and then they came across where the E&N goes now under the E&N and they made a back switch and went up here and they went out of here and they back switched again and they went out to Harewood.  They got rail to Harewood Mine.  And they were running, their first locomotive came in, I think, 1872, I think that is the date.  And I think it was called the [Yucata?].  The [Yucata?] in Indian means fast water and or fast moving.  [Yucata?] rapids, the fast moving rapids, it was called the [Yucata?]. 

The next one was called the Nanaimo, the next one was called the Pioneer, was a little English engine, there are pictures here.  The next one was called the Nanaimo, the next one was called the London was Number four and then there was the San Francisco, then they got the sixth, the seven and the eight.  And they were famous engines running from 1886, many a man ran those locomotives and his sons carried on the tradition and his grandson ran them.  It had always been, it had always been that Nanaimo No. 1 mine would always be running, this was how we felt.

Then they discovered coal out at the Jingle Pot and as soon as they found coal out at the Jingle Pot, the Nanaimo Company said let’s get out there must be coal just this side of it and there was.  Out on the company farm they sank a shaft they called the Wakesiah shaft. 

Then they bought a big locomotive from Pennsylvania Railroad and they called it the Number 9.  It was a pretty big engine; there is a picture of it here.  And Tommy Harris ran that locomotive.  I will tell you more of Tommy after.  And that engine ran out to Wakesiah which is only about two miles but by railway it was about 8 or 9 miles and every day at half past two, twenty minutes to three the two trains use to leave Nanaimo on the Western Fuel track, one would go to the Reserve which was sunk in 1912 and the other would go out to Harewood and out to the Wakesiah Mine.  You could hear them whistling when I was a kid and Tommy Harris was running the big engine.

Now this went along, merrily along, until up to 1900 and kept going and would go as we thought forever. 

But the Wellington seam was beginning to play out and Dunsmuir had offered a kind of reward for anyone that could find the extension to the Wellington seam.  Surely this Wellington seam continued somewhere but way back in the dim distance past [???] Mount Benson came up.  Just came up out of the ground and over 50% of all the Nanaimo coalfield was lost because the mountain came up and the coal just disappeared. 

But somebody found coal out at Extension and they found lots of coal at Extension.  And in 1898 Dunsmuir started in to get this coal and he went narrow gauge, he put an extension in of the E& N railway from [Fitics?] junction just from South Wellington and he up about a 3% grade right up to Extension and in and through and wound around and down into Extension.  From then on it went on to a , (give me that picture, no give me that picture of extension that long one, the first one, no I’m okay,  I can talk forever). 

Here is a picture of Extension, which you can see was taken in 1908, got it from the mines department.  But he had a narrow gauge locomotive dumping the coal here, and the narrow gauge locomotive was the 21 the same one he had from Wellington, it ran up the hill and it went way back to No. 1 mine and old No. 1 was on the Nanaimo Lakes Road and they hauled the coal all the way down into Extension and then they loaded it on to railway cars on wide gauge railway cars and they hauled down to [Fitics?] and they hauled it through Nanaimo and they went out to Wellington and they hauled it out to Diver Lake and they put it on the narrow gauge railway and took it down to the bay and loaded it in the ships.  Well, this was a lot of handling and as you know you can’t handle things too much and make any money.

So Dunsmuir saw a chance here, he thought now – he was very far sighted – the old man had died and young James Dunsmuir had taken over by this time.  Old Bob Dunsmuir had died in 1887 and the son was a trained mining engineer, he was premier of the province and don’t think the companies didn’t have a lot to say.  The companies had more to say then the government because Dunsmuir was premier for one thing. 

Now to get to this railway thing, he decided in his mind at that time he was going to sell the E&N Railway but I missed a part. When he build the E& N Railway in 1887 he was given a twenty mile strip from point no point in Victoria to Crown Mountain up in [Buttles?] Park tax free forever with the all the timber and all the minerals.  This was a great gift and he got that for running the E&N Railway, for building it. 

The E&N Railway was part and parcel of the Dunsmuir of the Dunsmuir and Diggle Coal Mine.  It was indivisible you couldn’t tell one from the other, it was all interwoven.  But he, some day he was going to have to break this apart because he was going to sell this and sell this and going to make a lot of money. 

So he tried to get a railway from Extension right down to Nanaimo independent of the E&N and he was going to come right across the bluffs here down Bruce Avenue and when he got down here he was going to cross somewhere through the Millstream Park and come across down in here join this railway, wide gauge this and get his coal to his well established shipping point at Departure Bay, he had the two shipping points.  But he could get across the coal company’s land, the coal company, this fellow Robins wouldn’t have anything to do with Dunsmuir, he didn’t like him for some reason or the other.  So he couldn’t get through Nanaimo, this was all Nanaimo Coal Company Land, so he thought well I’ll do something else, so he brought it down the E&N as I told you, it was around to Diver Lake but there was a better plan.

He thought “By George I’ll take off the E&N at about this point here” and he would come down round by the tide view and he would go along the tide view and run right tangent over to this track here and go down to the bay and wide gauge this and do away with the Wellington altogether. 

So the surveyor Mr. King who was the surveyor here since almost, nearly as old as Willie [Loise?] but poor Mr. King is gone now.  King told me “I was surveying that line and I was trying to find out what this grade was just below the tide view”.  King said “I’ll tell you what that grade was, we took off the E&N here, we went below the slaughter house which is now where the tide view is and we were heading right straight out to the powder works gate to connect up when Robins came along and with his fast horse and his rubber tired buggy and he said “King what’s going on here?” 

And King had two score of chinamen, the chinamen use to come in tens or twenties or forties, you always got twenty of them.   Oh better you another lot come tomorrow so another twenty came.  So they were all working along with straw hats and Robins said oh no no you aren’t going there you had better get Dunsmuir.  So Dunsmuir came, Jim Dunsmuir, he said “What’s going on here, what’s the matter, what have you an injunction against us for”.

Robin’s said “look Mr. Dunsmuir this is our land, you can go under or you can go over but you no go level.  Now he said you can do as you like about it but you are not crossing there.”  And there was no railway act at that time, they couldn’t go to arbitration and Dunsmuir said “Look here Robins I will see grass growing on the streets of Nanaimo, I will show you what I will do, I clean this whole mess right out of here”. 

So he was far sighted enough to know what he was doing so them and he went down to what is called Ladysmith Harbor, it was called Ladysmith because the Boer War was on, Boulder Avenue and all these things are just over from the Boer War.  And it was called Oyster Harbor at that time or Oyster Harbor I think it was called Oyster Bay or Oyster Harbour and he built new docks down in here and he used the E&N railway and he came right in from Extension down to here and he just moved everything right out of Wellington.  He cleaned the whole works right out and that was the beginning of Ladysmith and he completely abandoned Nanaimo, he had nothing to do with Nanaimo.  They weren’t apparently on speaking terms even.  So this is how we got Ladysmith. 

Now it runs a little further, Dunsmuir was still trying to sell this wonderful gift of timber and mineral for about $16,000,000 and he would throw the E&N in with it.  Then he wanted to sell all the mines and everything, Dunsmuir and Diggle and they could call it Canadian Collieries Dunsmuir Limited so long as he got his royalties it didn’t matter. 

So one day, this is rather an amusing thing, one day in Ladysmith the Canadian Collieries had a quite of lot of locomotives before they were finished and they had a No. 1 on their list and they went right up to No. 21.  But when they, the No. 1 was up at Union Bay, we can’t give the history of Union Bay and the Union Collieries tonight because there wouldn’t be time that is another subject.  But it was brought down to Extension to be fixed up or something and it was in Ladysmith yard and they also had a Number 1 on the E&N, they had two number ones you see, and they had a number 7 on the E & N, so the dispatcher said is No. 1 in, and a fellow said yeah, it is right out there see it and yeah that’s it. 

Well okay, No. 7 can go to Extension, No 7 started merrily out up north on the E&N, No. 1, the other No. 1 was coming in from Extension with a load of coal and they met at Bush Creek just north of Ladysmith right up this way and I guess there was cars piled fifty feet high I don’t have a picture but there is pictures of that wreck, it was a very famous wreck and a number of people were killed in that wreck and Dunsmuir was then told that he would have to do something about this. 

You can’t run the Colliery on a mainline railway where there is passengers being hauled, you have got to get on your own right of way.  Dunsmuir said I know it, I know it but I am working it out.  So Dunsmuir then got a bridge from the CPR in 1904, because I have the drawings, and it goes over the Comox Logging and Railways Company railway over Nanaimo River, it’s a steel bridge built in 1904 designed in Montreal and he then came up from Ladysmith on a little different route and he crossed at the diamond at Ladysmith and then he, the E&N was on this side and he was on this side and he went right up into Extension.

To carry the story a little further, this then, the narrow gauge was finished up the hill and at Extension they decided instead of hauling with narrow gauge some bright mining engineer put a tunnel right in and he tapped the whole lot and all the No. 1, the No.2, the No. 3, not No.4, No. 5 and No.6, no not No. 5 all came down the [motor?] roads and came out the mine at Extension and the water ran out and they started to make money. 

Dunsmuir liked this and during the strike somebody said to Dunsmuir look they had an inquiry, a royal commission on this, they said look what is wrong out there some of those miners are getting $15 or 20.00 a day yet they are only taking $5.00 a day home?  What’s going on?  Fire boss was getting a cut, the superintendent was getting a cut, everybody was getting a cut.  They said to Dunsmuir are you getting a cut?  He said they can do as they like so long as I get my $500.00 a day I don’t care what they do.   And this was the way it was run, and we wouldn’t go into the strike because that is another story.

So now we have to go back again a bit.  Now I hope there is continuity here if you can see what I mean.  I will try if you can see this map, this is Westwood Lake and this is the East Wellington area, this is where I was brought up right on this farm right here, that is our ranch.  All the railways are laid out on this. 

Now there was coal on the Westwood estate, I have to go back now to a 1883 and the Westwood’s, old man Westwood crossed the continent in a covered wagon in ’52 and he settled in California and came up here and he homesteaded in East Wellington and he had a family of boys, there was Dave and there was another one, they were the older ones and then his wife died.  He went back to the old country he got another wife and he started a second family.  And the older ones, the older boys then were getting on to be young men and they were dealing, they knew there was coal on the place and they were dealing with San Francisco, they got a hold of Chandlers in San Francisco competitors of Dunsmuir’s and they came up and said look we’ll buy you’re – the coal rights. 

Dunsmuir came out to the Westwood’s and, oh Robert Dunsmuir, I will give you $25,0000 for it.  No you won’t, we want $100,00 for it.  He said, you’ll no get it.  Chandler’s gave them $100,000 for it, now that is a million dollars today.  The Westwood’s had a $100,000 in 1883 and so right where the Black Ball Ferry pulls out today, there was a wharf called the East Wellington Coal Wharf and it is pretty hard to see it all on here but it is right down here where the Black Ball is.  

So they built another railway then from Brechin Point and they ran up through Brechin, it went right through [Jean Burns’?] back yard where [Jean Burn’s ?] backyard is now and it continued, it crossed the E&N because the E&N wasn’t built this was in ’83 and it veered  around and went out to the [cordway?] and it crossed the Comox Road at the [cordway?] and down and down into East Wellington into where [Lucklays?] farm is.   And that was called the East Wellington Coal Company. 

And they bought two locomotives; one called the Premier, which I have never found, and the other was called the Columbia.  That Columbia is the one that is in the park to the best of my knowledge, that little park down here, I’ll come to that in a minute.   That railway then, operated from where the Black Ball Ferry takes off today and they went right out to East Wellington and they had two mines right next, right in Dunsmuir’s back yard.  Dunsmuir said – I’ll get’em, I’ll get’em. 

Finally they made the fatal mistake, they went in under into Dunsmuir’s property and they went beyond the boundary and they took some coal from behind the boundary and then they shut the mine down and they flooded it.  Dunsmuir came back and pumped the mine out and confiscated the mine, pumped it out and John Holland the same Arthur Holland’s father ran the hoist and pumped the mine out. 

When they went down, they found that they had encroached on Dunsmuir’s property under where George Jackson’s farm is and old George [Redas?] place that was the corner post.  So Dunsmuir confiscated the mine, took the whole works, he didn’t bother running the railway down to Departure Bay but he connected it up with his own system and hauled it up the incline and took it down to Departure Bay and he went in here.

Then Dunsmuir pulled a fast one.  While he was down in there looking after the area that somebody had been stealing off him, he went across the boundary the other way and he took a great big slice out of the Nanaimo people’s property.  A really big chunk, from the Northfield mine and the Northfield mine by this time had shut down because they had opened the Brechin mine up right down at the wharf.  This was the Nanaimo Company, had the Northfield mine and Dunsmuir sneaked in under the property of the Northfield mine and got some of the best coal.

In 1927 the Canadian Collieries bought out the Western Fuel and in 1936 they pumped all the mines out again in Wellington.  I had a chance to look down them with a long flashlight and they went down for this wonderful block of coal, down in the lower portions, down near East Wellington, when they went in there they ran right smack into where Dunsmuir entered the water and they chased him right up to the bottom of the slope.  Dunsmuir got his own back.  Canadian Collieries had stolen the coal 42 years before and left the water and the water chased them out of there, it is just, these things sometimes come back to you. 

Anyhow, that railway wasn’t finished; Dunsmuir left the rail down and George {Banaski?] tells me and his wife told me when they were alive that they remember pushing the cars around in about 1903 or 1904.  These rails were left in down at East Wellington, but finally they were taken out because anything with metal in they have to turn into a dollar you know.   No matter what it is, if they can sell it, there will do.

But they got rid of the railway.   Then John {Colburn?] new Ladysmith lumber company in 1908 was running a mill, this is all part of the story, down at Cassidy just in those fields behind Cassidy down near the Oyster Bay School and he had the little Nanaimo that was from Nanaimo here, it had finally retired from this job and this little engine was run with a fellow called {Renway?}.

But Charlie Snowden said look I cut my eye teeth on that locomotive, I’ll show you how to run.  So old Charlie got the job of running it from the Oyster Bay School out to E&N to [Coburn?] siding.  When that timber was finished he took his crew with him and he bought the East Wellington railway right of way that went right through the town site and he went out to Westwood’s barn – farm- with this railway on the old grade and then he sprung out and he went through Earl Westwood’s place now, up through East Wellington and he had a mill up there that ran for 1908 to 1926.  In 1926 that mill was sold to Nanaimo Lumber Company and they continued the railway right up here, around the lake and went up to the other side of Mount Benson.  And they logged all the side of Mount Benson with railway.

Now on that first little locomotives that ran up were narrow gauge, three-foot gauge, the second time it ran it was full gauge and the locomotive that Snowden brought that Coburn brought out with him.  Two bit thing in 1908 was number 168 from the New York elevated railway.  It was weird kind of an engine, it was little Forney type, a Forney that is a wheel engine and it’s brakes were down with a evactor that as you pulled a valve it opened steam and it caused the bellows to close and put the brakes on.  I can remember that as a very small boy.  I often wondered what made the noise but Charlie told me after what it was.

Then Coburn bought a [shay?] and then Nanaimo Lumber Company bought a {climax?] and they logged this right through, they finished up in October 1931.  That would almost be the end of that history but the Jingle Pot mine was found in 1908 and they put a spur in from Coburn’s track and they brought it down here to Coburn on the same old East Wellington right of way and then they had a long over head trestle that went right down over down to the Imperial wharf right on Stewart Avenue.  There is a vacant lot in there where this trestle use to come and somebody told me the other day someone found a boarder in there, well that was the Jingle Pot coal bunkers and the those little engine use to run out on the top of that.

Now if anyone cares to go down below Jean Burn’s place and on the low side of the track there is about thirty feet of that original East Wellington railway goes out to the bay, oh about the length of this room you can still see it that’s about all that is left of that railway.

Getting back to things in the Nanaimo area, South Wellington, we’ll go back now to South Wellington.  South Wellington was south of Wellington about a mile.  Now this is very hard to get into your head today because there was Wellington and there was South Wellington, it says so right on Dunsmuir’s map and in there you will see Chinese houses.  This was China town in Wellington but in about 1890 or 91 somewhere in that area when the E&N railway got running Dunsmuir found coal a way south of Nanaimo about five or six miles what we call South Wellington today.

And seeing that this was all finished and wanting to keep the word Wellington associated with the coal, they called that South Wellington and the called the first mine the Alexandria Mine.  I think it was called after Queen Alexandria who was Edward VIII’s Edward the VII’s wife.  I think I am right there. Anyhow he ran the mine at South of Nanaimo in the Cranberry District it was called down in that area that was called South Wellington and this South Wellington was promptly forgotten.  So now when you say South Wellington you think of the Wellington down here but it is no relation really to Wellington.  

Now then when Dunsmuir got down in there, there was a mine called the Pacific Coast Coal Company.  They brought a railway in then from Boat Harbour, (you hear rustling as he sets the map up) they brought a railway in from Boat Harbour here and this by the way is on the map it came along here and came down and into South Wellington down in here. 

That company had three locomotives.  They had one little one like the New York elevated one and they had another little one and they had a bigger one.  They had a bridge over Nanaimo River which I had to go and get the footings out last year because it was causing flooding and then it ran from South Wellington down to the – parallel to the E&N, I’ll come back to this in a moment, where No. 10 was later and then they had the Morden mine I have pictures of it here and they ran through until they went broke some time in the ‘20’s and a lot of men lost a lot of money in wages.  But that was a fairly good operation. 

Then years later, Cassidy came in, Cassidy came in and found a mine on the Fiddick estate.  And Dunsmuir claimed that they couldn’t touch that coal because they no right to it but it went to Supreme Court and it was finally ruled that Fiddick had the coal right.  So the Fiddick and the [Haslams’?] and these people down in that sold their coal to the [Grandby?] Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company and they put up a very very fine mine in 1918 and it ran until 1931.  It took it’s coal by the E&N just south of Ladysmith load in boats and it went up to {Annieox?].  It was for the smelter.

But, there was a point I wanted to make.  In there when they were finished, when they went broke the grade was left.  Then the collieries moved in when the Extension, when the Cassidy mine had a lot of bumps, boomps as they called them, gas in the coal and it bumps out and kills you.  The mine was shut down by the mine inspectors.

But Bill [Frue?] lives in Nanaimo went down they opened No. 10 up and No. 10 they utilized the old right of way and they ran little No. 19, the little No. 19 was brought down then from Union Bay and it was narrow gauge, it had been made wide gauge, then it was made narrow gauge and wide gauge again, the narrow gauged it again and brought it down here again.  It ran for about ten years hauling the coal from little No. 10 mine up to No. 5.  No. 10 produced a thousand tons a day as much as No. 1 ever produced.  No. 10 was good mine.

But when that mine was finished, Phil Piper said to me; “Bob, I’d like to get the little locomotive for Nanaimo”.  I said there is nothing I’d like to do better, that is a little beauty that thing you know and it use to be at Wellington.  Well, he said, we’ve been trying and we can’t get it.  The collieries won’t let us have it. 

So I went to the collieries, No we’re not giving anything to Nanaimo, we start giving out stuff to Nanaimo where will be, well they have too much now.  So it had to have the tubes out of it, it was due for an internal and it had another year to go to finish the mine.  I said, Look I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll extend the tubes on that but I want that engine when you are finished.  I want to buy it.  What do you want with it?  I said I’m going to give it to Nanaimo.  Well they said, you can give it to Nanaimo but we are not going to give it.  We wouldn’t give them anything.  We would sooner see grass growing on the streets before we give them anything.  Well, I said okay it’s mine.  So I sent them $1.03 and they took it.  The three cents was the tax and I didn’t know at the time that it didn’t apply to rolling stock but they didn’t give me the three cents back. 

Now Phil, then I went to Phil Piper, now I said, Phil look I’ve got the locomotive it’s mine.  I have a bill of say.  By God, he said, that’s good, now how are you going to do with.  So Phil got busy and we got the Colliery boys and Art Holland a few more together and old Bill [Frue?] and we made this little concrete stand up in Pipers Park and I got the thing going and I had to bring it up and I got old, the fellow with a truck here, Squire, cost $60.00 - $60.00 I paid to bring it up from South Wellington.  I got it up here and altogether to put the thing in the Park, cost about $300.00.  Now, I thought well now Phil wanted this thing, Phil wanted the Post Office clock too and he got it, he put it in the church now, God Bless it.  Still running it every day Elmer is fixing it and keeps it running.

So Phil said I have got to have that locomotive and I want it to be dedicated to Nanaimo.  So all right look I won’t take much of a part in it.  So the plaque says that I obtained the locomotive and I donated it to Phil Piper, and Phil Piper donated it to Nanaimo and this is how you got the little locomotive.  And on the 24th of May 1952 we steamed her up and we put a great big piece of paper and on the piece of paper it said “Out of past progress is born the progress of future”.  And we had the engine running and I had the fellow running it was [Rosander?] I borrowed him from Ladysmith for the day because his father ran it on the first trip and he ran it on its last trip.

Start of 2nd Side.

Father and son had carried on two generations.  And so it broke through the paper and it came up onto the stand and we welded the wheels down with a couple of nuts under the wheels and it is there yet.  It is there for Phil to see anytime he wants.

And I think we have Phil to thank for that because Phil wanted it and if someone wants something that is an incentive to do it.  1952 May 24 it was dedicated by an Anglican parson and I have a recording of the whole thing.   And I have a recording in Vancouver.  (You can hear people probably voicing questions in the background at this point)

And then the CPR we invited them as guests, honored guests.  They stood up and they talked as though’ they had given the locomotive and then they published it the Spanner that they had given the locomotive.   And Phil nor I was even mentioned.

Well, now the $600, no $300 it cost.  I put that up and I didn’t have much at the time but …. I tell you what I did, Englewood said “look we a locomotive head light generator and we two headlights, do you think you could find them”.   I said, “I’ll do my best”.  I had them already put away.  They came down and said, “What do you think they are worth?”  I said “they worth about three hundred bucks” and they paid me three hundred bucks and it never cost a cent you see.  So that’s how we did that.

Now, there is a few more highlights that if I could think of them.  The Canadian Collieries engines were gradually cut up for scrap, every one of them went into the melting pot.  The only good part, No. 6, I think it was I happened to get the bell and I gave it to a fellow called White in Victoria and it was donated by Morris Green.  Is that right – the bell off No. 6 that’s right.  It took two men to carry it.

The locomotives on there were the No. 1 that was the one was the cause that caused of the wreck.  Then there was the 10, now the 10 was a beautiful thing, it ran from Extension to Ladysmith.  And here you will have, somewhere here I have some timecards, which I will give the club.  And on that time card it says James Dunsmuir, President of the E&N in 1903.  Thank you.  James Dunsmuir, President Time Card No. 49 October 29, 1903.

Here is another one that says October 25, 1902, that’s even before I was born.  There was a mixed train that ran from Ladysmith to Extension and it left daily, No. 8 - 6:00 am, 6:25 am and 6:38 am and then it left Ladysmith at 6:00 am, it left Fiddick’s junctions at 6:25 am and it arrived in Extension at 6:38, that was just time for the morning shift.  And the next one left at 2:00 pm, arrived at Fiddick’s junction at 2:25 and arrived in Extension at 2:38 and there was four trains daily ran to Extension. 

There were two, four trains, three trains daily ran out of here to Reserve, there were three trains daily ran out of here to Wakesiah and to Harewood. 

So when I was a kid, railroading was something, I remember riding behind the No. 10 from Extension down to Ladysmith, you would seat in an ice cream parlor, it was full of ice cream parlors in those days, you would ride back on the 11:00 and I’d walk out to No. 3 mill and I thought I’d had a whale of a time. 

Then there was the 11, I never knew the 11.  I talk of these things as though they are human but because, I didn’t know the 11 but I knew the 12, the 13 it was retired in 1914.  The 14, I’ve tested it many times, the 15 was an E&N engine that was on the Canadian Collieries. 

The 16, the 16 did a rather noble thing, it came to a noble end.  The 16 was running on the Comox Logging and Railway Company track when it reverted to Comox Logging and Railway and it was running up to the White Rapids Mine and Joe Hickman was running it and Tom, not Tom Harris, Morgan Harris was firing it.  (Inaudible comment from the audience) no [Cutburg?] wasn’t on that one, [Cutburg?] was down on the 10.  And it was going up and it just about got to the bridge, the big steel bridge over the Nanaimo River, and when a couple of coal cars got away from the mine and they were coming down to meet the engine.  They were coming down grade, really coming, and it the engine, bang right on and as it hit, it stopped the engine and coal out of the cars behind the engine spilled right over and buried the fireman.  And Joe Hickman dug with his fingers and he dug the fireman out and I believe he got a medal for it.  But that was the 16 and it was so badly broken up it stayed up at the mine for about a year and we looked at it and finally one day it was no more.

Then the 17 was noble creature, 17 was up at Union Bay, I have a picture of it here.  It finished Nanaimo up, the 17.  And the 17 and the 14 some Americans had the foresight to buy those engines and took them down to the states.  We don’t have them, they have them now, they are not here.

Then the 18 was a little narrow gauge engine that was retired in 1916 and the 19 that we love so well is in Nanaimo.  The picture of the 20 over here that hauled all the logs from Comox Lake up above at Comox.

Then there was the 21 which was the Robert Dunsmuir which we only found the other day and Alex Bell’s two boys were up there and they found this old boiler and after I wrote a letter to the Baldwin Locomotive Works just a month or so ago I find that the No. 21 was the Robert Dunsmuir.

That is the list of those engines and then the E&N Railway, when Dunsmuir finally made the division, now we come to this.  Dunsmuir thought and thought and thought, and he said,  “I will tell you what I will do”.  He sold the E&N Railway and the timber the whole works to the Canadian Pacific.  They wanted it badly.  And he got 16 million dollars for that. 

Then he sold the Canadian Collieries to McKenzie and Mann who built the Canadian National Railway, they need the coal on their railroad and I think he only got 9 million or something for the Canadian Collieries. 

But anyhow he had the money and he figured a way to divide it and then, of course, the strike came on in 1912 and 13.  I am not supposed to talk about strikes tonight but this was a very very sad thing.  I have a document here, when the collieries shut down you know I just went in and helped myself.  I got taken away; I am the world’s best scrounger. 

This is the original document that the miners signed in Nanaimo and I got everybody’s signature on it.  And here are the rates, a fire boss who was quite some pumpkins, if you got a good looking daughter and the fire boss saw her you would get a good place next day.  The fire boss got $3.25 a day, the shot riders got $3.00, the grabs men got $2.60, timber men got $3.00, helpers got $2.60, this is a day not an hour you know. 

Track layers got $2.60, drivers, boss drivers got $3.00 double drivers got $2.75, single drivers got $2.60 and boys got $1.50.  Rope inspectors got $3.00 and endless rope riders $2.75, winches a $1.50 a day.  Doer boys got a $1.00 a day.  Pagers, miners $3.00, loaders $2.60, it went right down to pump men $2.60.  Everybody that worked for the collieries had to sign this document, this is the original document, I will pass it around and you can see it.

That document was dated there September 18th, 1911.  That was before the strike.

Now then (someone from the audience makes an inaudible comment).

Now when they went to Extension, we still have a little time, Extension was the enemy’s territory that was the collieries.  Nanaimo was the Western Fuel, known as the Company.  It was the company, you just said the company, the company, the company won’t stand for this and that was it.  God wouldn’t stand for it, it was the same thing it was one and the same.

They had an explosion in Nanaimo mine on I wrote it down here, somebody knew this, May 3rd, 1887 where there was a 126 men just snuffed out.  I have pictures here of them working here with naked lights, it was gassy.  They had to go down there for their 260.

They had another one in Wellington the same year where 89 people were killed and the mine report says so and so and his Chinamen No. 15 and No. 17.  The Chinamen were given numbers, No. 15, 17, 18 and 22 was killed.  They didn’t have a name; they just had a number you see.

Now you might have heard of E. G. Prior (Mack and Mack and Prior).  E. G. Prior was a mines inspector.  Was inspecting the mines and in those days they didn’t’ have fuses, the put a piece of, they filled a piece of copper pipe, copper tubing with powder and they tapped it down, pinched the ends and they put that in the shot hole.  After they drilled in by hand all the way in, they poked it full of black powder and then they shoved the piece of copper in and then they tapped it.  Then the fire boss came along and lit the piece of copper with a paper and they went back and boom.

Then they went in and cleaned the coal out.  But E. G. Prior said look Dunsmuir is using ordinary black iron pipe and it is not safe, it is going to get a spark, it is going to blow up on someone.  E.G. Prior was fired immediately.  He was removed from his position, you just didn’t tell the Dunsmuir’s what to do.  They were the government itself. 

So they said now all these explosions are cause by Chinamen working down there.  So they got a law passed that Chinamen couldn’t work below the colliery.  And still they had explosions and they were taking lights down, I can remember as a kid, open flames going down the Jingle Pot Mine but it was March 1923 before a law was finally passed that they couldn’t take a naked light down the mine.  And they had explosions from the beginning of time.  But this is how it was, you just didn’t question this.

Now at Extension, the strike was on; it was a really tough winter.  There were six or eight feet of snow at Extension and this is a rather interesting story.  Andy Whisper, you might know Andy Whisper, Andy is a pretty good talker and he’s not a bad fellow Andy isn’t and all the Whispers family were living just about a half a mile above the steel bridge at No. 4 Extension.  And {?} was living in Nanaimo, had all his militia here to keep law and order.  You had to keep law because these mines just had to run in spite of the strike you know.

So the militia was here and they were going at it great guns and the people at Extension were starving, so they, there was a big honey tree below the track, it was about six feet in diameter, I went out recently, three or four years ago and the check the stump is still there.  It is a true story.

And these miners got sawing at it you know and they sawed around in a circle and they said which way is it going to fall, the fellow said – “do you think I’m a prophet?”   They sawed and sawed and sawed and finally this was a honey tree, it was full of bees you know, finally the tree came down and it just missed Andy’s house and went right across the track and it broke the rail and the was a devil of a note about this. 

So they said sabotage, they didn’t use the word then but sabotage anyhow.  So they sent the militia out and the militia had to get into a train here go to Ladysmith, interchange and to up to Ladysmith right of way and they got up to Andy’s place and the commander or whatever he is, he got out with his little cane you know and he said, “I say there, come down off that veranda, I want to talk to you”.  He said, “I’m no getting off the veranda” he said, “I know where I belong and I belong right here” and he stayed right on the veranda and he wouldn’t get off.  He said, “It was a honey tree, we are starving, we’ve been getting honey out of that tree, what do you think we’ve been living on”. 

Oh the English type of army general or whatever he was, he said, “I don’t think so”.  So said to his Scotsmen go down and see if there is any bees in that tree.  They went down and there was bees and there were smacking them and they had their kilts on and the bees climbing up and climbing down.  In any event, Andy’s Dad wouldn’t get off the veranda and they finally got back on the train and left.  So the Chinamen came and they sawed tree off and they kept going. 

Then Andy’s mother, I am telling you these are true stories.  Andy’s mother was quite a religious type of woman, a very God-fearing woman and the kids were hungry, the kids were running along in front of the trains in their bare feet because they had plowed the snow off and they couldn’t get out of the track and they were running and they wouldn’t ride.    “Come on I’ll give you ride”.  “We wouldn’t ride with scabs”, they said.  So they finally got off and got home and the mother didn’t know what to do because the kids were hungry. 

But one night the was a great to-do, somebody set China town on fire at Extension and it burned to the ground and while the hullabaloo was on one gang drove the chinamen over the hill to Stark’s crossing and told them [? to] Cumberland and don’t come back.  The rest of them got their rice bags and the shoes and the bags and everything out of the Chinese and the next day at 3:00 in the morning Andy’s tells me that is mother puts on a big feed for them and they took the wrinkles out of their stomachs and they had shoes that were too big and pants that were rolled up a cuff or two long.  Nobody said a word and not charges were laid. 

At that same time the militia went up to Extension and there were shots exchanged on the bluffs.  I don’t think they aimed at one another but there were shots between 30-30’s and army rifles, there was some trouble.  But when the war came along and they needed coal, some how or the other the matter was patched up but a lot of people suffered from the strike because in those days you just didn’t tell the company where to get off at.

Now to get back to the locomotives, I think I have gone on long enough now.  But I believe that your club here should have more then just the little engine down here, I think you should have a real big steam pot right up near the station and I think that this is a very worthy thing that you are doing.   This is still a young country; I have walked every grade that I know of, this is the only area that I am really interested in, in true nostalgic grade watching. 

But I did one in England, I went behind the place where my father was born and there was a little piece of grade and I said “By golly that’s a railway grade” and I heard the story.  My Grandmother died at the age 90 and she would be, this would be back in the 40’s, 1840’s.  She said oh look they have washing out on the line when the little locomotive went by and the little locomotive was called the “Little Pluto” but I walked the grade and found where it was and I went to the library and the chap at the library says “that lot was packed up a hundred years ago, I didn’t know it was still there”. 

So we still have a chance here to find these things and I believe what you are doing is a really worthwhile effort.  I am very enthused with anything to do with history and the things that they were, how they were but particularly in Nanaimo.  And I appreciate being here tonight and I could go on about a lot of things but I think I will close now and ask if anyone has any questions that I can answer to do with this railroad and railroad grades and things would anyone please ask me and I will try and straighten it out.

[Inaudible conversation from the audience]

East Wellington Wharf, East Wellington Wharf was exactly where the Black Ball Ferry is now.  The South Wellington Wharf was exactly where the new, the new ferry is off to one side and at very low tide, very very low tide if you go there you will find the old pilings and if you go at low tide you will find the sheaf with copper and you will find piles of coal and that coal is from Old South Wellington.

[Inaudible conversation from the audience]

There was two wharves, there were three wharves.  There was the wharf over here at, no, the powder works wharf was first, the South Wellington Railway Wharf, then it turned into the powder works wharf. 

 Now to elaborate, when they shut Northfield Mine down, Northfield Mine was right in Northfield, it was on the edge of the Wellington field.  And the Northfield mine, the Northfield Mine was right here you see, it was called Northfield because the other mine down was Southfield and then they got Northfield Mine.  But then they wanted to say Nanaimo Wellington Coal you see, so the Northfield Mine was here, now when it shut down in about 1890 or 1892 or 3, there wasn’t the coal in Northfield they thought there was, you see they thought they had hit it rich but they didn’t. 

But they found down at Brechin Point they could go under Newcastle Island from Brechin Point here and go under Newcastle and get the Newcastle seam, which was a little seam, but it was good Wellington coal it was the little Wellington seam.  So they put a slope down go down under to go down under this island but there wasn’t enough room there so they put a shaft, there is a picture of it over there.  Now the shaft was only 90 feet deep the two cages passed at about ground level but they brought it up the slope and onto the cage, the cage you put it on and then they brought it up to the plant and loaded it right into the ship.  Well the point is the coal was handier so they made more money so they didn’t bother with Northfield you see.  Now also along side of the hoist at Brechin, which was Northfield No. 2 they had a stationery engine with a drum and two ropes, one went down the mine and one came out and they had an endless rope to bring up the hoist. 

Now Charlie Snowden told me, I use to take Charlie out for rides until we had to lift him into the car, but I had to know everything that he knew about this.  Charlie was a quite a character.  Now Charlie told me, that with the old London they use to make about a trip a week.  They [?] the steamer up and they would take it up through the powder works and deliver a car at the powder works and they would go up to the black works and they a little switch in at the black works here and they would come back again and tie up and they would do that about once a week.  Then finally the E&N put a spur in and they put a pipe line to run the stuff down into the powder works but that railroad out to Northfield had it’s steel in until about 1920 and then they finally took the steel out.

Now,

There is a dead space for a couple of minutes.
The mine was completely finished but in 1936 they pumped it out, they pumped the whole Wellington outfit out.  They pumped the whole thing out including No. 1 down at the bay and No. 1 in Nanaimo here was finishing up.  The fellow that was running the mane and tail down at the bottom of the shaft, Priestly was his name, he told me they were finishing up and we use to stay in the [?] room together.  So they pumped out Northfield and they opened Northfield and Jack Thompson if you know old Jack, Jack worked in the shaft and he has told me all about it right to the bottom of the shaft and they got the two shafts, the air shaft and the main shaft opened up, new collar on the top, put in a new hoist, they spent about a million dollars on the tipple and they back into old No. 5  and old {Outinbow?] that was Bill [Outinbow’s?] father was down with him one day and he found his pump valves and his washers right where he had left them 42 years before. 

But the coal was gone, Dunsmuir had taken it.  They all thought there was a lot of coal in there but if they had read the mine reports, they would have found the coal was taken when Dunsmuir finished with anything he would squeeze the last drop out of the turnip you know.  He had it all.  

So that is how that railway, the last time Northfield ran they put a spur in from the E&N and came in that way.

Is there any other one that I can maybe.

[Inaudible conversation from the audience]

I can count, not too soon but there is many other stories that I think can be told from different stand points and I am leaving maps with, two copies of this map and two copies of, these are maps that I have had made and I am leaving copies with the society and you can all see on here all the railways in the Nanaimo area west of Nanaimo or North of Nanaimo are on this map and I am making one now of all the railways south of Nanaimo and the Comox logging and railway of course is running on the grade of the Canadian Collieries and it is running a diesel much to my regret but none the less it is hauling logs instead of coal.  Well, it is not as good as the old steamers.

So thank you very much.

Applause

[Inaudible conversation from the audience]

END