Virtual Museum of Canada

The Mill Workers – Individual Stories

A family at Britannia Beach
A family at Britannia Beach.
c. 1930. BCMM# 11828

The family photos from those who lived in the community paint the picture. During the special occasions of their lives -- the sports events, the annual Copper Queen ceremony, or simply the daily pleasure of watching children play -- the Mill always loomed in the background. It was as important to the landscape as the mountains and the water, comforting with its bright lights and constant rumbling. Residents did not need to venture inside to fully understand that its presence and operations meant everything to the existence of their town.

Here are the stories of community members who worked or grew up at Britannia Beach or The Townsite. Few of us will ever experience life in an isolated company town, particularly in this age of communication when media and computers connect even the most remote areas. Discover what it was like to live at Britannia Beach, click here to listen to interviews with workers and residents of the community.

BCMM 984.79.26 Celebrating May Day at Britannia Beach. c. 1930 BCMM 13489. A worker standing on the half constructed Mill. 1922. BCMM 13505. The Mill under construction. 1922. BCMM 11828. A family at Britannia Beach. c.1930. BCMM 12314. Visit of The Most Honourable George Freeman Thomas, later Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, Governor General of Canada to Britannia Beach. c. 1929 BCMM 13489. A worker standing on the half constructed Mill. 1922.