Where is the source of the granite used in the foundations of major/significant Rossland buildings such as Bank of Montreal, Court House, the Post Office, the Father Pat Memorial and some residential properties?
Just recently a geology technician from a university in Halifax was spending some time in Rossland and he was intrigued with this question. He initially thought that the Rock Cut at the end of Third Avenue, off Butte Street was the source for the quarry - same rock. There is a lot of granite blocks below this area on a steep hillside, which might have been left over from cutting the stone. However, the Rock Cut, about 20’ feet high and of some length, was definitely cut to allow the CPR rail track to go through at a reasonable grade to the Third Avenue station and the mines above. Perhaps the excavation for the rail grade in 1896/97 prompted the use of this quarry?
The building mentioned as having the same, “locally quarried granite” foundations were:-
Bank of Montreal - construction started in 1898
Court House - construction started in 1900
City Hall/Fire Hall - construction started in 1899
Father Pat Memorial - built in 1902
There is little evidence today of the network of rail lines of The Columbia and Western (became the CPR in 1898) and the Red Mountain Railway. However, we do know that ore from the mines had to get to the Smelter in Trail by rail as the most economical method of transportation for the mines to be successful.
In Jack McDonald’s, “Railways of Rossland”, page 11, is the following map which identifies the routes of the 2 railways (1908).
Interesting to note, is the “Quarry” at the eastern end of Columbia Avenue on this map.
Where there two quarries? Granite was not found everywhere in Rossland. Is there any evidence today of rail links in the northern portions of Rossland? We know that there were warehouses north of the stations for off loading supplies and goods.
Information provided by Jackie Drysdale (Feb. 16, 2022)