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Britannia Mine Museum to host celebratory event

On May 20, the museum will host ‘Dig Day,’ a family-friendly event in celebration of 100 years of Mill No. 3.

The Britannia Mine Museum is gearing up to celebrate Mill No. 3’s 100th anniversary with a family-friendly event in May.

On May 20, the museum is hosting a public event called “Dig Day” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activities for all ages as well as demonstrations from geologists and mineral experts. There will also be a feature exhibit, “100 Years of Mill No. 3,” which explores the history of the mill, community and the technology of the mill and mine.

“We wanted to pay homage to the Mill’s 100-year history and importance with our ‘Dig Day’ celebratory event and feature exhibit, as well as highlight its technology and engineering marvel as Canada’s last remaining gravity-fed concentrator mill,” said Laura Minta Holland, the museum’s curator of collections and engagement, in a news release.

It took 18 months to complete the 20-storey building in 1923 and was the third iteration of the mill, according to the release. The first mill was too small, so they built a second to operate in conjunction with the first. The first mill was demolished in 1919 and the second burned to the ground in 1921, paving the way for the third.

In the third iteration, workers had to climb over 240 stairs to the top. In the 1930s, the mine was responsible for about 17% of the world’s copper.

Eventually, the mine and the mill shut down in 1974 and, in 1987, the mill was designated a National Historic Site. Between 2005 and 2007 the mine saw rehabilitation efforts from both the Britannia Beach and Squamish communities.

“I started my career at Britannia Mine when I was 18 in the early 1960s and I remember going to work in the Mill building,” said Marshall Tichauer, who now works as a tour interpreter for the museum, in the release. “I was at the prime of my life and I met and married my wife at the mine and have lived in the community since then.”

Read more about the mine’s upcoming event at