The Unknown Miner mural offers sounds and image of Lenora's shaft history

Local artist Terry Chapman at work on The Unknown Miner, Chemainus
Local artist Terry Chapman at work on The Unknown Miner, Chemainus' mural No. 42, done in 3-D, at the Silver Mine On Chemainus jewelry shop.
— image credit: Courtesy Barbara Bond

A vein of mining history at Mount Sicker's Lenora Mine was artistically exposed last month in Chemainus' newest mural The Unknown Miner.

Local artist and carver Terry Chapman completed the six- by eight-foot 3-D masterpiece on Mural Town's Silver Mine On Chemainus jewelry shop and co-owner Barbara Bond is beaming, but still curious about the miner's identifty.

"I'd love for people to shed more light on who it is. If we can validate that somehow, they can have a $100 gift certificate at our store," said Bond, who commissioned Chapman's piece illustrating a dirt-face digger at Lenore.

Checking the hard-working guy at Silver Mine is brought to life by mining sounds piped outside.

"People just love it," Bond said of Chemanus' mural No. 44.

It complements mural No. 22 Lenora Mines At Mt. Sicker lending intended historical significance of displaying Chemainus' history on various downtown walls.

"Cim MacDonald's responsible for the story of the mine, and came up with the photo used," Bond said of the local artist and photographer.

"She walked us through the process."

A final step sees Unknown Miner added to an updated Chemainus Mural Book due this year, Bond said.

Tom Andrews, of the town's Festival of Murals Society, was tickled by the miner mural.

It'll be officially unveiled in September during the town's Congress on Economic Development Through the Arts and culture, in tandem with the Global Mural Conference.

"The FOM thought it was appropriate as it fits into the historical series relating to Chemainus and the Chemainus Valley, and it worked well for her store.

"Barbara proposed the mural to us and we approved the concept. she hired the carver. We like the 3-D aspect and it has sound effects.

"It cover all the visuals and aural aspect. It's a total experience walking by it."

Chapman's local miner, emerging from a Lenora black tunnel, had his face and hat cast in hydro stone.

The life-size mining cart, built of wood and steel, protrudes 18 inches from the mural, lending the 3-D effect.

Mount Sicker once boasted copper, silver, and gold mines.

More than 229 tonnes of ore, mostly copper, were largely extracted by hand.

A fire at Lenora Mines revealed a 30-foot outcropping of copper at the mountain's 1400-foot level.

The Lenora Mine was named after the prospector's only daughter, and was located at Mount Sicker's base.

The mine established the town site by 1900 with a population of some 400, and amenities such as an opera house.

The mine ceased operation in 1907 due to litigation problems.

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