Hi everyone, thanks for popping back around today we really do appreciate it! Today’s photoblog post finds us wrapping up at the Bamberton company/town cement factory. Yesterday’s post “The Toad In Cement Shoes” discusses the history and controversy around the pending developments of this 1,500 acre parcel of pristine BC land, and today we take a look at the remnants of the plant itself.
As mentioned yesterday, the entire area has been actively in process of being developed over the last while. Controversy and opposed views on the notion of developing this land have raised roadblocks along the way and as it stands today, we’re not totally sure of the future of this area. The entire zone is heavily secured with gates, fences and signs everywhere. Mrs. Toad and myself thought we had struck gold when we found some local signs stating the museum was open. When we got to the area, though, that appeared not to be accurate and we quickly knew that we probably were not welcome here. Grab some shots and leave.
1,500 plus acres of some of the most gorgeous land on Vancouver Island. With rolling hills and ocean views, this would undoubtedly be a wonderful place to live. The problem is, there is a highway that provides access to this area and it winds over a treacherous mountain pass. Traffic at the best of times produces headaches and problems for local folks. I personally drive this highway every day to and from work; sometimes accidents shut it right down for hours on end. I usually in the winter bring a change of clothes and supplies in the back of the car in case the highway is shut so I can either grab a motel or try to call my best friends, Mr. and Mrs. Mudpuppy, to see if I can wrangle a nights stay with them. Putting myself and the Mudpuppy into the same room for an extended time usually results in all sorts of trouble, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
So, the controversy here is centric around traffic congestion. The land area is so huge with massive projected development plans, this would only serve to worsen the traffic conditions quite substantially. This is where the push-back from local residents comes from. I have heard of no solution at all to this problem and personally suspect this will result in this area remaining undeveloped for quite some time. We shall see, I guess.
This is the money-shot, if you will, from this location. All that remains of the original, and I have to say it was massive, facility and structure are these ruins. If you look closely, you can see two stack tower remains and a large hole for what must have been one mega-huge industrial fan or something. From our research, we see that the factory left in 1980 and left behind quite the ecological mess. Cleanup was expensive and long running.
Another set of ruins of what appears to be a similar facility sit ocean-side. It just seems so haunted and still in the area; as we stood taking it all in and capturing these images, all that could be heard was the wind rustling in the trees and distant birds. This facility was originally responsible for producing all the cement required for nation building here in Canada; this includes dams that were designed in BC’s interior quite a while ago now. Due to the limestone that was deposited in this area, perfect for cement production, and coupled with the actual location of this area the factory was actually one of BC’s first town/companies. At one point it was a very active community. Today, it is home to our wildlife and the ruins we’ve explored.
I have to admit a sense of melancholy overcame us as we visited the location. An almost creepy sense of the folks who lived here is imprinted directly in the land. Life was hard back then, and I have no doubt working in a cement factory would not have been an easy existence. But still, families were born and raised here, people spent their lives working and creating the community… and today it’s all gone. I doubt anyone could visit here and not feel something.
And still, the final chapter is yet to be written.
Thanks so much for your visit today, we sure do appreciate it! Please feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.