NEWFOUNDLAND – The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) has added the Bell Island No.2 mine to its list of Registered Heritage Structures. This is the first time that an engineering work of this sort has been designated.
The Bell Island No.2 mine was designated because it achieves historic and scientific values through its age and uniqueness of construction. It mined an iron ore deposit that runs beneath Conception Bay, in which Bell Island sits. The No.2 mine, owned by the Nova Scotia Steel Co., began production in 1902. Iron ore was recovered using room and pillar methods, the first time a mine in the province employed that method in a submarine environment. The mine collar is located on the north side of the island in the community of Wabana, under the Bell Island No.2 Mine and Museum Building.
The No.2 mine had great cultural impact on Bell Island, in particular on Wabana and also the communities surrounding Conception Bay. The heritage designation is defined by the area defined by the collar of the mine at ground level, excluding any above-ground structures, to a depth along the Main Slope to mine Level 23 at a distance of 198 m from the collar, and extending on both sides of the Main Slope to a width of two rooms.
“The overall benefit of this designation is preservation of our heritage,” says Dale Jarvis, heritage preservation officer with HFNL. “The designation also means provincial recognition of the structure, possible eligibility for grants, installation of a plaque, and provincial and national recognition through the Provincial Register of Historic Places and the Canadian Register of Historic Places.”
The registers can be accessed online at www.heritagefoundation.ca and www.historicplaces.ca.