Vernon historian discovers video of copper mine in mountains of British Columbia – Vernon News
Vernon historian and videographer FranÃ§ois Arseneault has unearthed obscure images of British Columbia’s mining and transportation history.
Overlooking the Salmon Glacier, the Granduc Mine was a large copper mine located on a ridge between a glacier and a cliff, north of Stewart, British Columbia, at the north end of Summit Lake.
The mine operated from 1964 to 1984 before closing due to low copper prices.
âIn 1961-1962, Pacific Western Airlines was hired to supply the mine with fuel and supplies at the time. The specific details are lost in the story, but this footage shows the logistical challenges faced by these aircrews, âsaid Arseneault.
Incorporated in 1945, Central British Columbia Airlines would become Pacific Western in 1953. In its early days, it served as a freight carrier.
âIn 1959, PWA began carrying passengers on scheduled routes, eventually becoming the largest airline in Western Canada,â explains Arseneault.
PWA bought Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1986 and became Canadian Airlines. In December 1999, Air Canada acquired Canadian.
“The remarkable snow-covered runways carved into the slopes at the base of the steep valleys are not for the faint of heart, reminiscent of the remote airstrips of the Himalayas and the Andes,” explains Arseneault. “With the closure of the mine, the rudimentary airstrips probably no longer exist.”
The planes, some dating from wartime, were well suited for this job.
âLook for little details like the Shell windsock, crawler tractors carrying supplies and what appears to be damaged aircraft landing gear – a story in itself. Maybe someone will help fill in the gaps.
The 8mm spool was found and retrieved a year ago from a thrift store in Vancouver by a colleague from Arseneault and is now part of his growing collection of over 2,000 vintage hobbyist spools.
Arseneault is always on the lookout for more information on the vintage images he unearths, and he encourages people to add their contribution in the comments section on his. Youtube page.
Arseneault has a large collection of period footage, and he’s looking for more.
Anyone who may have old 16mm or 8mm film footage from the Vernon and Okanagan area is welcome to email Arseneault at [emailÂ protected].