The long-term Advantage

Don Martin


Our involvement in Tumbler Ridge goes back to the beginning of the 1980s. In fact, in the later 1970s it was told that one of our employee’s families logged off the original town site that is now known as Tumbler Ridge.

At the time, MacCosham Van Lines was a household name that had been associated with Moving and Storage since 1913. My parents were running the Dawson Creek location for MacCosham and had done so since our relocation to the area in 1969.

In 1981, Quintette Coal was coming to the area, and there was a flurry of activity and speculation as to how this would affect Dawson Creek.  The way it looked initially, the mine was going to be in Tumbler Ridge, but some of the Dawson Creek locals of that time were hoping that the services were going to be coming from Dawson Creek. They even built a new industrial subdivision east of Dawson Creek to house some of that activity, but that area remained vacant for many years because of the fact that Tumbler Ridge was going to be self-sufficient.

The town site was carved out of the landscape, and camps began to be set up to accommodate the workers for the new mines. The temporary Quintette office, Royal Bank, and a convenience store were all located just off what is now Highway 29 from Dawson Creek, and the entrance to the new town was established. The new workers were coming into the area from all over Canada quickly now, as the mine preparation was in high gear.

The problem was that the town was not set up, so the personal belongings then had to be held in our warehouse in Dawson Creek, BC. The families were staying in rental units in Dawson, and the workers were staying at the 500 and 1000 man camps located closer to Tumbler Ridge. At the peak, we had over 21000 square feet of warehouse full of the goods destined to be in Tumbler, and were waiting for the town to appear.

Soon after, the first group of mobile homes were moved in, and we were right behind them with the household goods many times before the steps were attached to the homes. Then the housing was being built at an incredible rate, and one by one the streets were filled up with new homes that were moved into as soon as the paint dried.

The new Mine office and Plant site were being set up at the same time, as well as the Eagles Nest located at the top of the mountain. We made many trips up and down that mountain, and thoroughly enjoyed our involvement in helping to put Tumbler on the map. The process took a while, but the town was well thought out and remains to be one of the nicest settings for a community in the entire Peace River area.

Advantage Relocation has been moving people to (and from) Tumbler Ridge since the very beginning. For more information, call 250-782-8216, or visit