The Chase River Settlement

December 1st, 2016

Known today as a quiet semi-rural district on the southern outskirts of Nanaimo, the Chase River area was once its own separate community full of historic character that still exists today. Like many in the surrounding region, this area was rich in coal and because it was situated near the water for transportation purposes, Chase River made for an ideal location for a mine. In the span of ten years, two mines began operating in this area, The New Douglas Mine also known as the Chase River Mine, opening in 1874, and the Chase River No. 3 Pit opening in 1886 (pictured above). By 1920, Chase River’s population was nearly 300, made up of mostly mining families and some farmers, many of Finnish descent. Eventually, the Chase River community officially amalgamated with the City of Nanaimo in 1975. Today, many of the original character farmhouses still stand in the area, a nod to the historic coal mining era in rural Nanaimo. (From the collection of the Nanaimo Archives)

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