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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
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First Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive into Fernie, British Columbia. [1898]50 miles from Bellevue, was the first settlement as a result of the arrival of the railway in the 1890s, and the site of many mine disasters including the Coal Creek explosion on May 22nd, 1902 which killed 128 of 800 men on shift and, again, on July 31st, 1908 when another explosion happened trapping 23 miners; at the same time, a major fire at the Cedar Valley Lumber Company burned out of control and destroyed the town of 6,000; only surviving buildings were the Crow's Nest Pass Coal company offices, the Western Canada Warehouse and the Great Northern's depot and water tank

Today, Fernie offers incredible activities and experiences that clearly set Fernie in a class of its own.

Fernie is a true winter paradise! On its world famous powder you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and more.

When the Rocky Mountain summer arrives, the alpine celebration continues as outdoor enthusiasts are able to camp, hike, fish, raft, mountain bike and horseback ride in Rocky Mountain style.

Fernie is a community long steeped in a history rich in Indian legends and coal mining. Today, Fernie celebrates its vibrant heritage through heritage walks, events, cultural displays, international sporting events and various celebrations.

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