Friday, August 30, 2013

Canmore's Coal Mines

Trip Date: June 2013

Canmore’s coal mining background began in 1887 with the opening of the No. 1 Mine along Canmore Creek, which was known as Whiteman’s Creek back then.  We accessed the mining remnants by parking at the Quarry Lake Off-Leash Dog Park and walking north across Three Sisters Parkway to an obvious trail.  From there we linked up with the Canmore Creek Trail that lead us down to the scant remains from Coal Mine #1.  To be honest there wasn’t a whole lot to see that this location.

Remains of Coal Mine #1
No. 1 Coal Mine

The site of the No. 2 Mine was more exciting than the first one we visited.  The remains of the Lamp House are still standing (barely!) and you can actually see one of the entry points to the mine.  The entrance has since been blocked by cinder blocks painted black, but you still get the idea of what it would have been like.  We parked in the community of Van Horne and then walked across a grassy field to the abandoned site.  Canmore ceased it's coal production in 1979 and the mines were closed.  It was the last community in the Bow Valley to close its mines.

The site of Coal Mine #2, complete with portal and Lamp House
Standing inside the portal.  There's an old coal car and you can see the entrance has been sealed by cinder blocks.
The Lamp House
Inside the Lamp House
Situated in a beautiful location
Bits and pieces of mining machinery sit a short distance from the mine site
Another coal car sitting among the debris
This is another portal for Mine #2.  This one is easily seen as it's on Three Sisters Parkway near Cairns on the Bow.
No. 2 Mine portal

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