AAA Editor Notes
Bell Island's Historic Underground #2 Mine & Museum is accessed from the Portugal Cove ferry and is just off Main St., following signs. The museum chronicles the 1895-1966 mining industry on Bell Island through many artifacts and photographs. The early years saw surface mining, and then submarine (underground) mining began in 1902 at the No. 2 mine, which is one of six mines that were in operation here.
Before battery packs were available, miners got their lighting from candles, which were worn on their hats or placed into the walls; seal-oil lamps and then carbide lamps. More than half of the ore was loaded by hand with shovels, and horses were used to transport it before automation and conveyor belts came into use. Tools and shovels left behind by miners, remnants of calcium carbide, and a horse stable with a feed box can be seen on the mine tour.
A jacket is recommended, as the temperature inside the mine is a constant 47 F; appropriate footwear also is recommended. Hard hats must be worn on the mine tour.
Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 1 hour, 30 minutes minimum.