This photo from about 1910, shows the Compressor Building for the Columbia Coal and Coke Company, located on a hillside above the South shore of the Tulameen River, slightly West of where the Aerial Tramway was later located. If they had been able to stabilize the mine, there would have been no Blakeburn, and no Tramway. This was considered part of "Cardiff" in 1910. Photo courtesy Walt Smart.
This concrete pad with bolts that once held down the Compressor is all that remains of the Columbia Coal and Coke site in the previous photo. The Mine Portal (now filled in) is only a shallow depression in the ground about 100' to the South. 2004 photo by Bob Sterne.
In 1909 the B.C. Coal and Coke Company obtained the rights to coal in the area. This photo shows the Fraser’s Gulch Mine, which was the only attempt at mining the coal from the bottom of the mountain that produced any significant tonnage. Photo ca.1910 from the Nicola Valley Archives Association.
Walt Smart shows the location of the Mine Portal from the Columbia Coal & Coke mine as it was in 2004. Bob Sterne photo.
The B.C. Coal and Coke Company reorganized in 1910 as Columbia Coal and Coke and their offices were at Granite Creek. While they continued working at Fraser’s Gulch, they also began work at Bear’s Den. It was said Bear’s Den got its name when a curious bear accidentally fell through the roof of a cabin. Photo from the Provincial Archives of B.C.
Access to the original lower mines, and later to Blakeburn, was via the Upper Town Bridge, shown here under construction in 1912. Photo from the book “Nicola, Similkameen and Tulameen Valleys, The Richest Section of British Columbia” by Frank Bailey.
This photo shows the Upper Town Bridge, and above it, the cables of the newly erected tramline crossing the Tulameen River. Note that the Powerhouse has not yet been built, which dates the photo to early 1920. Photo from The Similkameen Star, courtesy the Princeton Museum.
Before the tramline was built, coal was hauled by horses and wagons. This photo ca.1912 shows the coal being transported in this manner by Garrison Freight. Photo from The Similkameen Star, courtesy the Princeton Museum.
All that remains of the Upper Town Bridge today is this abutment, located on the South shore of the Tulameen River, not far from the concrete pillar marking the "Tipple" (bottom end of the Tramway). Bob Sterne photo, 2008.