Photo of the colliery's coke ovens and rail yards servicing the coal mines of the Union Bay district and delivering coal to the nearby deep water port for shipment around the globe.
Written on negative bottom left:
The King Studio was established in 1903 in Vancouver by Howard King. While it became known as a portrait studio, King and his successors were also involved in industrial photography.
Based on ‘AZO’ photographic paper used, photos dates from Pre-1907-1910.
Smudges on back.
(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)
Union Bay in British Columbia, Canada is a small community approximately 15 kilometres south of Courtenay, British Columbia.
Union Bay was first established as "Union Wharf" back in 1887. The community was developed as a port for the thriving coal mines at Union to the Northwest.
….decided that a port at Royston would be too shallow for their needs. The deep water near Hart Creek (in present-day Union Bay) was perfect for the deep sea vessels that would ship the superior quality coal across the globe. A large wharf nearly 600 ft long was constructed, along with a rail network connecting the mines to the port in 1887-1888. Many of the masted freighters of the early days were so large that they had to be escorted by tug up Baynes Sound between Denman Island and Vancouver Island.
Several structures were built on the colliery's lands including a shipping wharf, a coal washer, machine shops, and coke ovens. The community of Union Bay developed to support all of this industry and even had a small Chinatown. Workers from India were brought in to build the wharf. Scottish bricklayers arrived with a boatload of bricks from their homeland and assembled the coke ovens which were worked by the Japanese. Chinese labourers laid the railway between Union Bay and Cumberland and then became trimmers on the coal ships where they would work 12-hour shifts.
To service and repair the mines and port facilities there were shops to overhaul the locomotives, to fabricate coal cars, and others which housed the foundry, boilermakers and blacksmiths.