Settlement began in the area in the 1880s with the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway branch line through the pass. The main economic activity of the area was the mining of COAL both for the railway and other markets. A number of DISASTERS befell the area in its early years, including a massive rock slide on Turtle Mountain in 1903 which killed at least 70 people in the town of Frank (see FRANK SLIDE). In 1910 an explosion at the Bellevue Mine killed 31, and in 1914 another mine explosion at the Hillcrest Mine killed 189 miners. It remains Canada's worst mine disaster. By the 1980s the coal mines had all shut and the area was in an economic slump. The history of the area is commemorated at the Frank Slide Interpretative Centre and at numerous historic sites such as Leitch Collieries. The municipality, with its scenic mountain location, has turned to tourism as an alternative economic base.
Author DEBORAH WELCH AND MICHAEL PAYNE
Links to Other Sites
Official website of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, AB.
This nicely illustrated “Travel Alberta” website is a complete guide to planning an Alberta vacation. Offers a searchable directory of accommodations, recreational and cultural opportunities, and much more.
When Coal Was King
The multimedia website “When Coal was King: Coal Mining in Western Canada” explores the history of Alberta’s coal mining industry. Check out the glossary and educational activities. From the Alberta Online Encyclopedia.
Profiles of AlbertaFirst member communities provide important business, economic and lifestyle information to compliment the statistical information available for all communities.