Thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers, the 1860s ore wagon that has been located for many years on the Silver Queen Mine Trail has been restored to almost-pristine condition, but we’re not quite done!
The dilapidated Adams wagon came from a farm that belonged to Anna McLaren in the 19th century at what is now BurgessWood, a subdivision on nearby Otty Lake. The land was purchased in the 1970s by Grover Lightford (a long-time Friends member), who donated the wagon to the park.
Former Friends’ director John Bufton lives in BurgessWood, and he approached the association’s community maintenance team about volunteering to refurbish the wagon, which was once used to transport ore from area mines. Rudy Lepp served as the chief consultant, and other volunteers involved included Dan Woods, Gord Munroe, Gord Barrie, Tom Spence, Larry Paquette and Wayne Smith. John’s wife Judy, a current Friends director, painted the undercarriage of the wagon and the wheels.
This type of wagon was first built in 1863 by a company called Adams & Son in Paris, Ont. It is believed our wagon was used in the 1880s. It serves to demonstrate to visitors how materials were moved during early mining operations in this part of the Canadian Shield.
Research indicated the Adams wagon should be painted in its authentic green and red colours. Much of the wood had to be replaced, but stays true to the original style.
Two of the wheels were sent to a Mennonite community in western Ontario to ensure they were properly repaired. We’re hoping to raise about $1,000 to have the remaining two wheels repaired this fall.
You can see the work so far when the wagon returns to the Silver Queen Mine Trail in time for the Heritage Mica Festival this month.
To help complete the wonderful work started by the BurgessWood team, please consider making a donation to the Ore Wagon Restoration Project. Click here to see how you can donate online or send a donation by mail. Tax receipts will be issued for donations.
We have big plans for future interpretive displays surrounding the wagon and the mine, so stayed tuned!
A HUGE thank you to the team of volunteers for all of their hard work – beautiful job!