Bellevue Underground Mine Tour


Useful Information

Location: Bellevue, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. Hwy 3 between Elko and Fort Macleod, turn of opposite Hillcrest turnoff into Bellevue. Follow main street, turn right between the Old Dairy Ice Cream Shoppe and the Coal Dust Cafe.
Open: 14-MAY to Labour Day daily 10-18, tours every half hour.
[2007]
Fee: Adults CAD 8, Children (6-17) CAD 6, Children (0-5) free, Seniors (65+) CAD 7, Family (2+*) CAD 20.
Groups (15+): Adults CAD 5.60, Children (6-17) CAD 4.20, Seniors (65+) CAD 4.90.
School Groups: Children CAD 3, Students CAD 3.50.
[2007]
Classification: ExplainCoal Mine
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours: L=300m, D=30min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Bellevue Underground Mine Tour, 21814 - 28th Ave, Bellevue, Crowsnest Pass, Tel: +1-403-564-4700, Fax: +1-403-564-4700.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1901 Jules Fleutot and C. Remy of British Columbia Gold Fields Limited came to the Crowsnest Pass to prospect for coal.
02-APR-1903 discovery of rich coal deposits.
1903 mine opened.
09-DEC-1910 an explosion in the mine killed 31 men.
NOV-1911 mine reopened after several months for repairs and a seven month strike.
1961 mine closed.

Geology


Description

The tour through the Bellevue mine, once owned and mined by the West Canadian Collieries, takes only 30 minutes. But on 300m mine it shows the historic colliery, a room, a coal chute and original mine artifacts. The guides explain the techniques of turn of the century underground coal mining. During the time of the mine 13 million tons of coal were extracted. About 90% of the mined coal was sold to the C.P.R. for its steam engines.

The major tragedy the mine was the 1910 explosion, where 31 men died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the so-called afterdamp. It was blessing in disguise that it happened during the night. The night shift had 42 men, the day shift more than 200, so the same explosion during day would have killed much more miners.