|Haddington Island quarry late 1890s|
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The island is most well known for its quarry of andesite, similar to limestone. When the BC legislature buildings were being designed in the early 1890s, renown architect Francis Rattenbury selected the unique stone for its density and fine grain. The stone can hold intricate carving, but will withstand frost and harsh weather. It is noted to have a unique yellowish-grey appearance.
The initial budget for the legislative buildings was $500,000, although the final costs exceeded $950,000. Challenges began almost immediately with the supply of the stone. During construction, the contractor responsible for procuring the
stone, Fredrick Adams, struggled to keep up. At one point he and Rattenbury got into a
shoving match, which ended in Haddington Island Adams being
charged with assault, and fined $25.
Pushed to meet production deadlines, Adams was drowned when shipwrecked in bad weather
while maneuvering the barge used to tow the stone the 250 miles from to Haddington Island Victoria.
The project was completed one year behind schedule, largely due to issues procuring materials.
From 1895 to 1966,
stone was a popular building material, and can still be seen in many
buildings in downtown Haddington Island Vancouver. Tonnes of the material were also
used in less glamorous projects such as the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria.
Men working in the
quarry during the WWI era would have made between $3.00 and $4.25 for
an eight hour shift. Granite was, and still is, extracted using a drilling and
blasting method, which separates the stone in large blocks. Haddington Island
One of the last major construction projects which used the stone in the mid 1900s was
. After that, architects moved to
favour steel and glass as building materials. In 1966 the quarry was closed. Vancouver City Hall
In 1967 the brand new ferry, the Queen of Prince Rupert, ran aground in dense fog on Haddington Reef, while negotiating the
– Kelsey Bay Prince
ferry was refit and returned to service.
stone quarry was reopened in 2004, and is once again producing andesite
to be used in buildings and monuments around the Northwest. It has recently been
used in the construction of the Air India monument in Haddington Island , hotels, and buildings at UBC and SFU. Stanley Park
Posted by sixstories at 1:56 PM