Virtual Museum of Canada
 

The Mill in History

Children ride on back of a horse drawn trailer through Britannia Beach.
Children ride on the back of a horse
drawn trailer through Britannia Beach.
c. 1920. BCMM# 3940

Thousands of people drive by Britannia Beach every day on the Sea to Sky highway between Vancouver and Whistler, but few realize that they are traveling through one of the largest, most important copper mine sites of the 20th century. Only some of the buildings that made up the community of Britannia Beach still stand today. Up the mountain, ‘The Townsite’ (also known as Mt.Sheer) is completely overgrown, its buildings long demolished and its history alive only in the memories of the people who lived there.

All communities have a rich history that is often not readily apparent. Many of our towns and cities have an industrial heritage, since fishing, forestry and mining were the major occupations that built Canada’s early economy. Britannia Beach and its Mill are an important reminder of the stories found in all our communities, and they encourage people to discover the history in their own backyard.

BCMM 11266. The building of The Townsite (Mt.Sheer). c. 1914 BCMM 13496. The building of the Mill, south end of 2 middle floors. 1922. BCMM 13500. The foundations of the Mill. 1922. BCMM 13501. The foundations of the Mill. 1922. BCMM 13503. Playing baseball in front of the Mill foundations.1922. BCMM 13505. The Mill under construction. 1922.