The almost 100-year-old historic Mill building is considered one of British Columbia’s mining gems and played an important role in the Province’s history. It never fails to induce jaw-dropping awe from almost everyone who visits because of its sheer 20-storey height as it clings to the cool natural stonewall of a mountain.
Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the oldest pieces of Mill no.3 is the skip—a 3-tonne rail car that transported equipment 360-feet up a 45 degree angle to and from the upper levels of the Mill. Dormant for decades, the skip has rested at the foot of the Mill’s track since the mine’s closure in 1974.
The skip was critical to the Mill’s operation. Capable of pulling a 12-tonne load up a 45-degree incline, the skip was responsible for every jaw crusher, cone crusher, and ball mill that ever made its way inside Mill no.3. Any story about the Mill needed to have a role for its trustworthy skip, which is why it will have a special space in the Museum’s new Mill Show.
In September, the Museum’s team moved the original skip to its new location—a few feet to the right at the bottom of the iconic staircase. The move created room for a new skip that could play an important role in the new Mill Show, engineered by Dynamic Attractions, a Port Coquitlam-based company specializing in building some of the world’s most iconic theme park attractions and structures. Working with this world-renowned engineering firm is an incredible honour for the Museum as they usually work with multi-million dollar projects for huge juggernauts like Disney and Universal, so for them to support a local non-profit like the Museum with this “smaller” project is an amazing experience. After all, it’s not every day that a 98-year old building becomes a thrilling attraction.
Dynamic Attractions built the show skip out of raw steel to mimic the weight and movement of the original rail car. It was then sent to the team at BOLD Event Creative and 3DS - set design specialists. With their expertise, the show skip was transformed from a shiny metal cart to a rusted, authentic-looking Museum piece that fit with the atmosphere of our historic Mill No. 3.
The skip’s story is just one piece of Mill no.3’s incredible history and we can’t wait to introduce you to it. To learn more about this exciting new show, and discover all sorts of behind-the-scene content, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
In the time of COVID-19, when our lives have been turned upside down, it can help to reflect on what has gone before, in order to find hope for what may come.