Now showing items 1-20 of 40

  • The Bastion 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1853)
    When Haida warriors threatened to raid the tiny community in 1852, John Muir decided to build the block house and bastion pictured here. The three-story structure was hand-built with axes and adze by Jean Baptiste Fortier ...
  • The Brechin Mine 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1906)
    As mentioned earlier, the V.C.M. & L. Co. expanded the number of mines and greatly increased the tonnage of coal shipped from Nanaimo. The mines were known both by names and numbers. Number One Mine, for instance, was known ...
  • C.A.F. soldiers and a machine gun 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    Calling in the C.A.F. to quell the riots and stop the strike did end the disturbances for the most part. Hundreds of miners were arrested and martial law was declared in the district. The presence of the C.A.F. caused even ...
  • Chinese loading coal 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1888)
    During the gold rush, thousands of Chinese came to B.C. When the gold petered out, many Chinese worked in the Nanaimo mines. There they met harsh and sustained opposition from the other miners. One of the major complaints ...
  • Chinese street arch 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1882)
    Chinese throughout the province took great pride in street arches they would erect each time an important dignitary visited their area. This arch was erected in 1882 to welcome the Marquis and Duchess of Lorne.
  • The Civil Aid Force arriving in Nanaimo 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    The Civil Aid Force arrived in Nanaimo in August 1913 and stayed throughout the fall and winter. In this photograph, the force is seen arriving at Nanaimo.
  • Coal mine at Extension 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1895)
    In 1895, a major Dunsmuir coal mine was opened at Extension. The Dunsmuir empire at this time was headed by Robert Dunsmuir's son, James. Like his father, James Dunsmuir was the richest man in the province. He expanded the ...
  • Coal ships in Nanaimo harbour 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1923)
    It is estimated that fifty million tons of coal were mined in the Nanaimo area. As new mines were opened, the tonnage increased dramatically. When the V.C.M. & L. Co. bought out the H.B.C. interests in 1862, only 55,000 ...
  • Commercial Street, 1912 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1912)
    This photograph was taken from the corner of Commercial and Bastion Street about 1912. The large building in the centre of the photograph was constructed on the site of the "Nanaimo Free Press" building and next door to ...
  • Crowd awaiting news after the 1887 explosion 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1887)
    When news of the explosion reached the town, a large crowd gathered at the mine to wait for news. Despite the heroic attempts of rescue crews, only seven miners escaped with their lives. 150 men died from suffocation or ...
  • Destruction at Extension (slide 10-15) 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    The rioting miners caused wholesale destruction in Extension. They burned many homes to the ground.
  • Destruction at Extension (slide 10-16) 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    The rioting miners caused wholesale destruction in Extension. The rioting miners had intended to attack only homes of the "scab" labourers who would not join the union. As the riots grew in intensity, however, many other ...
  • Destruction at Extension (slide 10-17) 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    The rioting miners caused wholesale destruction in Extension. Property of the coal mining companies was also destroyed. Coal cars, equipment, and large piles of coal were burned.
  • Fire at Nanaimo area coal mine 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1856)
    Fire was one of the greatest problems associated with coal mining in the Nanaimo region. The coal has originally been formed in coastal lagoons. The coal seams were irregular, and the coal was often mixed with shale, ...
  • John Bowser reading the Riot Act 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1913)
    Special police were sent from Vancouver to quell the disturbances, but they were repulsed by the rioters at the Nanaimo wharf. Finally John Bowser, the Attorney-General, was asked for military assistance. Here he is seen ...
  • Mine workers 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1854)
    The first miners arrived in Nanaimo from Staffordshire on November 17, 1854. Over the years, thousands of miners from England, Canada, and China arrived to work the mines. Working conditions were deplorable. Long hours, ...
  • Miner's home near Nanaimo 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1856)
    While miner owners amassed great fortunes, coal miners in Nanaimo lived at a subsistence level. Most lived in mere shacks like the one pictured here. Besides extremely low wages, the miners and their families often suffered ...
  • Miners at Extension 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1900)
    As with the mine at Wellington, the Dunsmuir mine at Extension was the scene of major mining disasters and labour strife. In 1901, 16 men died in a mine fire. In 1909, 25 were killed when an explosion ripped the mine. ...
  • Nanaimo coal mine interior 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1862)
    As mentioned previously, coal mining was the main business in Nanaimo from the 1850's to the Second World War. In the early days, surface coal was dug by native labourers and taken by scow to ships waiting in the harbour. ...
  • The Nanaimo Court House 

    Unknown author (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 1897)
    Nanaimo's impressive Court House was built in 1897. It was designed by F.M. Rattenbury, a leading architect who designed the Legislative Building and Provincial Library in Victoria.