Britannia Mine Museum, Sea to Sky Highway

The Mill located in the BC Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach in British Columbia is designated a National Historic Site in Canada, a fully restored gravity fed concentrators - one of the last of its kind. The Mill now operates as a learning tool with all its original inner workings, one of the Museum's most awe-inspiring sights. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE: www.venturevancouver.com

Built in 1923, the Mill is the last gravity fed concentrators in North America. It now operates as a museum in British Columbia.

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Type:

Museum

Season:

All Seasons

Weather:

All Weather

Time:

3 hours

Cost:

Cost of Britannia Mine Museum, National Historic Site, Squamish, BC Cost of Britannia Mine Museum, National Historic Site, Squamish, BC

What to bring:

Camera, Questions, Sense of Curiosity, Warm Clothes

The Britannia Mine Museum is difficult to miss - its location just off British Columbia's Sea to Sky Highway is dwarfed by the twenty story mill and its cluster of buildings and equipment including the two story tall yellow Super Haul truck. Opened in 1975, the Museum is a Historical Landmark which includes tours, gold panning, exhibits and activities for the entire family. This interesting site is one of the most visited along the Sea to Sky Highway enticing visitors to learn about the mines which were once the leading copper producers in the British Commonwealth suppling materials for both wars and even the pennies in your pockets.

The Britannia Mine Museum in the small town of Britannia Beach outside of Squamish is one of the area's most historically significant stops along the Sea to Sky Highway.

The Museum is crowded with a variety of buildings important to the operations of the mill. Over a dozen have been renovated and are not used to show different tools and equipment for the mines, the methods of transportation to get ore from the mine and newer technologies donated to the museum which are being currently used such as the giant yellow super haul truck.

First opened in 1904, the mines were once the biggest producers of copper in Canada (and the British Commonwealth). Several disasters occurred in the area: In 1915 the original town site built in the upper hills was destroyed by an avalanche killing many residents. In 1921 the bad luck continued with Mill 2 burning down. Later the same year a flood rose from the banks of the inlet and killed thirty-seven people. Despite these setbacks, the community of Britannia Beach became one of the leading copper producers in the region until its closure in 1974.

November 1, 1974 marked the last shift in the mines and one year later Britannia Mines was reopened to the public as the BC Museum of Mining. In 1988 the site was designated a British Columbia Historic Site and continues to be one of the most visited attractions along the highway corridor.

With tours, gold panning, equipment, exhibits and displays available to visitors it isn't hard to see why the museum is an education and fun place to spend a day exploring British Columbia's mining history.

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Photo and Image Gallery

The BC Museum of Mining on Britannia Beach 11 kilometres outside of Squamish, British Columbia is full of buildings used during the operation of the mill and now tools for teaching visitors about the Mine and its national and local importance in its seventy-five years of service.
The Machine Shop at the BC Museum of Mining in Britannia Beach, British Columbia is full of odd and interesting tools which all had a purpose in producing material from the stones brought from the mines below. Interesting tools and equipment are on display for curious people to see.
Two of the most prominent exhibits in the BC Museum of Mining in Britannia Beach, British Columbia are Mill 3 which still has all the rail cars and tracks and the equipment on display as well as the welding shop which houses hundreds of pieces of machinery from when the Mine was in operation.
The Museum offers an indoors area which exhibits hundreds of photos and artifacts such as personal photos, equipment and important events, chronicling the time mining was an important industry in Britannia Beach, British Columbia
One of the BC Museum of Mining's most interesting (and popular) donations is the Super Haul Truck - a two story yellow truck with one story and a half story wheels which was once used in the Highland Valley Copper Mine and now resides at the Museum to teach visitors about its purpose.
As a way to further educate visitors to the mine, the BC Museum of Mining in Britannia Beach, British Columbia uses a train to take visitors on a trip through the tunnels where different tools and equipment are on display.
Rendering of the BC Museum of Mining in Britannia Beach near Squamish, British Columbia.
Mill Three operated in Britannia Beach for many years and it was one of the most modern in the industry. Its size is best seen from its viewing are indoors where the rails, levels and complicated inner workings can be seen.
Visitors to the BC Museum of Mining in Britannia Beach, British Columbia can see many historical events played out on the mountain side such as the remains of what was one Mill 3 as Mill 2 was burned down during a period of unrest in the area.


Location of Britannia Mine Museum, National Historic Site, Squamish, BC

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Britannia Mine Museum, National Historic Site, Squamish, BC

Forbes Way at Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Highway)
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Map of Sea to Sky Highway

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