2008 "Black Track" Tour

Black Track TourOn Saturday, September 20, 2008, Tom Paterson, well-known historian, newspaper columnist, and raconteur, will lead another of his very popular "Black Track" walking tours. "Black Track" refers to those South Wellington area railway lines which were informally used by miners and residents as a "public thoroughfare" or walking track during the early 20th century. Coal dust so thickly coated the lines that they became known locally as the "Black Track."

Proceeds of ticket sales will go to support Friends of the Morden Mine Society in their endeavour to bring about the preservation of Morden Colliery's splendid but rapidly deteriorating 1913 headframe and tipple, innovative at the time in their use of reinforced concrete, and the only such remaining above-ground structures on Vancouver Island, in fact in North America. Tom, as usual, is donating his time and his fund of historical mining stories.

The tour will start at 10 am at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park at the east end of Morden Road off the Island Highway south of the Duke Point turnoff. Participants will visit No. 5 South Wellington Mine, Richardson/Fiddick/Alexandria Mines, PCCM Mine and townsite, Fiddick's Junction, No. 10 South Wellington Mine, and Granby.

The tour will probably last five hours and requires reasonable fitness. Participants should bring a packed lunch, water or juice, and sunscreen. Hats and reasonably protective clothing are also recommended. Tickets are now available at $30 for one person or $25 each for two or more in a party. E-mail cchristo AT shaw.ca or phone 250-714-0377 for reservations.

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