The Mond Nickel Company built the town of Victoria Mines as a separate townsite to house their smelting facilities. As soon as it opened, they immediately added a post office and two schools, public and separate. Following them in 1904 was a CPR railway station.
Victoria Mines quickly grew to become a full service town site. Its population varied from 300 to 600 people. The community included three boarding houses, an apartment building, and 50 private dwellings. Commercial businesses included three general stores, a butcher shop, barber shop, bake shops, and a bowling alley. There were three churches, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican. Law-breakers were quickly dealt with by either the sheriff or constable, both of whom were stationed on site. There was also a jail in case things really got really rowdy.
By 1911 output from the Garson Mine was far exceeding that from the Mond Mine. As a cost saving measure, the mining company decided it would be more economical to move the smelter closer to the Garson Mine.
By 1913, the smelter at Victoria Mines closed. All the equipment and many of the buildings from the Victoria Mines townsite, moved to a new site at Coniston. They closed the public school in 1914 and relocated the students to the school in Mond. The separate school remained open a few years longer.
Today almost nothing remains of the original townsite. A company home stood until a few years ago. It’s no longer there. Learn more