Project: BC Copper Co. Smelter Ruins Preservation & Rehabilitation

NOTICE: At this time the heritage site is closed to the public. 

The BC Copper Company Smelter was erected in 1901 and operated until 1918.  Abandoned since that time, its huge slag pile and tall brick chimney have become landmarks along Highway 3.  Thousands of people have visited the site over the years.  The site has a mystique that is extremely appealing.  The City of Greenwood has looked to the Smelter ruins as an asset that will promote tourism in the area, as well as retaining the city’s mining heritage.  Our goal is to stabilize the ruin so that it retains its charm, but is safe and interesting for visitors.

Completion of Phase 1 of the project:  That included a Feasibility Study; Cost estimate; an existing site plan; a proposed site plan; Structural Engineering:  visual, brick, and mortar tests in a laboratory; photographs, calibration charts and test results. Volunteers and City staff picked two sections of the site to clean garbage and broken trees from the site.  We were very happy with the results from the completion of Phase 1.

Phase 2:  We will start working on the recommendations from the studies completed in Phase 1.   (Due to the cost to rehabilitate the smokestack and base structure which is estimated at about $450,000, we have opted to start with smaller, more affordable repairs while we plan the strategy to fund that section of the project).

The plan for this portion of the project is to rehabilitate the smokestack top rim which will prevent further damage from water and weather; rehabilitate the corner wall structure; have the graffiti removed; pick two other sections of the site for volunteers and City staff to remove more garbage and trees; prepare architect drawings with more detail: include an interpretive forest site in the plans; include a log cabin on the site for a caretaker; include more detail regarding the wetlands; include an interpretive rail system with a small tourist train; and more detail to the trail system.  The partner (Greenwood Heritage Society), will assist with volunteering at the heritage site; collect photographs of the site and information of interest for signs for the next phase of the project.  At this time the site is designated a heritage site in the city bylaws.  The City of Greenwood will donate time and costs to designate the site as heritage site in land titles; complete a statement of significance; and register with the government as a heritage site, so we can apply for grants under Heritage BC.

The completed industrial ruin project will also have a developed wetlands area, interpretive forest area, washrooms, caretaker cabin, safe pathways and interpretive signs.

Further information on the Heritage Smelter Preservation is located here:

 

Please support us! Greenwood, BC plans to set up a program in the near future to collect funds for the BC Copper Company Smelter Ruins, that will be developed into an international ruin.