Mining for lead and zinc was an important enterprise in the early days following construction of the railway. It has been said that it would have been difficult to find a man in those parts at the time that did not own a mine or was part owner of a mine. Most were powerless to work their claims for lack of funds and yet considered their properties of such value as to preclude any idea of selling.


One mine that was developed was the Kicking Horse Mine at the base of Mount Field. Another was the Monarch Mine at the base of Mount Stephen, which became the largest mining operation in the area. In 1891 the Monarch Mine supplied 200 tons of ore to the newly constructed lead smelter at Revelstoke. The ore was considered to be of poor quality as it contained 15% zinc, the upper limit from which lead could be economically extracted. Richer deposits discovered farther south and the establishment of Nation Parks along the route of the railway, which discouraged logging and mining, precluded further mine development.

The Monarch Mine at the base of Mount Stephen.

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On the MBC 1887 route ore mined at the Monarch Mine is transported to the Field by wagon where it is loaded onto gondolas and hauled to the smelter at Revelstoke.

Loading ore from the Monarch Mine and the Kicking Horse Mine at Field.

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Historic Sites of Field.



Brown Bag History: Revelstoke Origins. 2015. Cathy English Revelstoke Museum & Archives.



September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016