Railway Steam Shovel - Fort Steele, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 37.160 W 115° 37.844
11U E 598902 N 5497207
Quick Description: One of many pieces of machinery of various types on display at the Fort Steele Historic Village, this is most of a 116 year old steam shovel.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 4/30/2017 3:42:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMVKPW
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member SearchN
Views: 0

Long Description:
The serendipitous find of a newspaper article on this steam shovel enables us to know a bit of its history.

Built in 1901 by the Vulcan Iron Works of Toledo, Ohio, the unit was brought to British Columbia and put to work on the Crowsnest Southern Railway. In 1902, with the completion of the railway, it was taken to Wanklyn siding near Kimberley where, under its own steam, it made its way 16 kilometres up Perry Creek to do the excavating for a placer mine. When the mine played out in 1920 the shovel sat derelict until 2011, at which time it was donated by the government to the Friends of Fort Steele and moved to Fort Steele on June 14, 2011.

Missing several parts and pieces, the Friends of Fort Steele are trying to restore the steam shovel and locate any missing parts that they can.

Though the steam shovel is in a museum, the Fort Steele Historic Village, it is outside the area within which one must pay for admission.

Following is the article from the Kootenay News Advertiser.

Perry Creek steam shovel relocates to Fort Steele

by Contributed - Kootenay News Advertiser
posted Sep 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Fort Steele is pleased to formally announce the recent relocation of the famous Perry Creek Steam shovel to Fort Steele.

The shovel was moved from its location at the 16 kilometer mark on the Perry Creek Forest Service road to a permanent display track in the Fort Steele railway area on June 14, 2011. Ownership of the historic artifact transferred to the Friends of Fort Steele by the government in February of this year.

The shovel has significant historical significance to the area is a valuable part of our placer gold mining history. The shovel was purchased by Mr. James McDonnell of Morrissey in 1901 from its manufacture the Vulcan Iron Works of Toledo Ohio for work on the Crowsnest Southern Railway from Jennings Montana to Morrissey BC. After the completion of the railway in 1902 Mr. McDonnell decided there was additional revenue to be made in the placer gold business and the shovel was relocated to the Wanklyn siding on the CPR Kimberly line and then walked under its own steam up to his placer operation at the 16 km of Perry Creek where worked until the early 1920. From that point on it sat abandoned at this location until its move this year.

Unfortunately over the past decades, several parts have been salvaged for other uses or scrap including the boiler, one of the three steam engines needed to operate it as well as several other smaller parts.

The shovel will be initially restored as a static display at the steam railway at Fort Steele. Initial work will include the replacement of the main supporting structure to support the main boon and dipper shovel as well as the reconstruction of a representative housing over the shovel. In addition to making the shovel more recognizable as a railway steam shovel, the housing will also help to protect the remaining shovel machinery from the elements and further corrosion. As funds become available the Friends would like to gradually restore the shovel to as close to its original running condition as possible.

If anyone has any information on the location of any of the missing parts off of this artifact, the Friends would very much like to hear from you.
From the Kootenay News Advertiser


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