Urbex: Lost City of Paris Mine Tipple

I had my heart set on locating the abandoned City of Paris/No. 7 mine. Not Paris France, Paris BC. Never hard of it? Neither had I until I moved to Big White, BC for the summer and was looking for another urbex adventure.

Development of the City of Paris Mine began in 1898 and by the end of 1900 the mine consisted of 5,214 ft of drifts and crosscut tunnels, 702 ft. of raises and 387 ft. of shafts.

The City of Paris mine is located southeast of Greenwood, BC at an elevation of 4,521 ft. Although I researched it, there’s not much is online re: directions on how to get there. I asked a few people in Greenwood, no one seemed to have a clue. Some knew of it and had never been, others had no idea whatsoever. Thankfully, a kind barista at the Deadwood Junction where I was grabbing a coffee had just been the previous weekend and provided us with directions.

The No. 7 mine is located on a ridge crest at the elevation of 1,370 metres, about 3.3 km east of the confluence of McCarren and Gidon creeks, 7.5 kms south east of Greenwood. Access to the property is 2.4 km travelling southerly up hill by winding dirt road from McCarren Creek Rd.

It’s a bit of a rough ride, especially for a beat up Dodge Caravan on her last legs. The road was overgrown by the time we went in mid-June. My travel buddy had no desire to be deserted in the middle of nowhere should his ‘beast’ decide to conk out on us. Given our predicament, we opted to not head up further, to the underground abandoned mine which I suspect is impressive. We made it as far as the tipple.

What’s a tipple you ask? A tipple is a structure used at a mine to load the extracted product for transport.

Tipples were initially used with mine-carts, (aka tubs, tram cars, or mine cars.) These were small hopper cars that carried the product on a mine railway out of the mine. When a mine car entered the upper level of the tipple, its contents were dumped through a chute leading to a railroad hopper car positioned on a track running beneath the tipple. At some facilities, each car was tipped over manually, thus the name, “tipple”.

Apparently the City of Paris mine had an aerial tramway that hauled ore from Paris to the smelter at Greenwood/Anaconda. The smelter operation has been abandoned for 102 years and is quite the impressive site! If you’re interested in visiting the area check out the blog I wrote here.

For being abandoned as long as it has been, the tipple remains a solid structure. As you can see, the beams are hand sawn. This particular tipple had 4 shoots.

The video I watched to make me want to visit this awesome piece of history was posted by Exploring Abandoned Mines, in July of 2016.

I’ve taken a 41 second clip of his original 27:39 minute video relevant to the tipple. It remained relatively unchanged from when the video was recorded in 2016 to when I visited in June 2020, the exact same fallen tree trunk that was still present at the time of my visit.

There is also some other structure in the vicinity, it looks like some kind of load out.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate any photos online of the tipple at City of Paris mine but thought I’d share this photo of a 1908 tipple in the U.S. to give you a visual idea.

A coal tipple in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1908

The intermittent operations of the No. 7 mine from 1901 to 1945 produced a total of 13,748 tonnes of ore yielding 92.4 kg of gold, 3110 kg of silver, 97 tonnes of lead, and 6.2 tonnes of zinc.

It’s unfortunate that were weren’t unable to continue further up mountain. However, even with my hour exploring the tipple and its surroundings was very interesting.

Part of what I find interesting about exploring abandoned buildings/structures is the history and research that goes into it. Best hobby ever!

Interested in more of my urbex adventures?

  • Can’t forget about the time I explored an abandoned strawberry farm and found a set of 4 deer hoofs and a dead bird in the antique wood stove.

There are plenty more urbex blogs for you to enjoy on my site too!


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