hide You are viewing an archived web page collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:04:33 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
Heritage Community Foundation, Year of the Coalminer, Albertasource and Cultural Capital of Canada logos

Home     |      About     |      Contact Us     |      Sponsors     |      Sitemap     |      Search

Atlas Mine

1919, the (1) Atlas mine tipple, mine No. 0684, in Newcastle. Note the two stacks for the boiler or hoisting room and the slope to the mine entrance.The Atlas coal mine today is preserved as a unique historical sites. Visitors have the most wonderful experiences of climbing an eight story tipple, or join a morning miner's hike. Coal mining history in the Drumheller Valley comes to life

The Atlas coal mine was the first project of the newly formed Atlas Coal Company Limited in 1917. There were four major shareholders of the new company: James O. E. Holden (who was the main organizer), James McCulloch, Doctor Omer H. Patrick and W. D. Gordon. James O. E. Holden was born in Ireland in 1877. His parents migrated to Canada and settled in Nova Scotia where James finished his education. After that he worked in the coal mines for a time. In 1896 he came to Alberta which wasn't a province then but part of the Territories where he worked at the Galt Mine in Lethbridge. The next few years found him roaming the country where he worked in various coal mining communities in the U.S.A. After the American experience he returned to Alberta and worked for the next ten years at Bankhead, west of Calgary. He arrived in Drumheller in 1913 and became superintendent at the New Castle Mine.

James McCulloch came to the Valley in 1915 where he became the superintendent at the Stirling Mine. Later he went to the A.B.C. Mine.

August 1953, Ernest Hlady ready to build up locomotive wheels.Doctor Omer H. Patrick was born in Ilderton, Ontario in 1869. After graduating in medicine from the University of Western Ontario in 1892 he moved to Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.A. where he practiced for the next two decades. The next move was to the west coast to find a drier climate for his son, Lorraine so they moved to Portland, Oregon. here the Doctor went into real estate as he never practiced medicine again after leaving Port Huron. This time the Doctor built 12 homes where he realized a profit of $1,000.00 on each. Next the family moved to Calgary where Mrs. Patrick had a brother that had a medical practice. It was here that James O. E. Holden came to him and talked him into investing into the proposed new mining venture.

All that is known of W. D. Gordon, is that he was one of the original four investors that formed the Atlas Coal Company Limited. After a time he sold his share to the other partners and turned to civic matters as he entered the mayoralty race on December 8, 1919 where he beat his main opponent, George Clarkson, 179 to 71. The other hopeful candidate, T. S. Branson only acquired 39 votes.

August 1953, the No. 3 Atlas mine machine shop, about 3 miles underground. Here, as a machine boss and with my capable assistants, I performed corrective and preventative maintenance on all inside mine machinery. There was a power drill press, power hacksaw and a General Electric arc welder 300 amps D.C. The shelves at the rear held many parts and bearings. I have a set of locomotive wheels on our buggy ready for building up. Around this perimeter of the shop were six battery charging stations for the battery locomotives. At the rear of this photograph is the line panel for a General Electric 2000 amp D.C. generator driven by a synchronous motor. The shop was about 120 feet long by 35 feet wide.Over the next few years the Atlas Mine prospered as the authorized capital was now $50,000.00 in 1921. That year while James E. 0. Holden was manager the yearly capacity rose to 135,000 tons. By 1925, Holden and McCulloch decided to sell their shares to Dr. Patrick. The deal was made on March 25, 1925 making the transaction a very profitable one for all concerned. James Holden and James McCulloch were interested in a new mining venture in metal mining so were moving to Vancouver with that in mind. Once Doctor Patrick became the sole owner he placed his son, Lorraine in charge as superintendent and a Mr. Hastings as manager. The mine continued operation till August 6, 1929 when it was closed down and abandoned.The Valley of the Dinosaurs Its Families and Coal Mines

This article is extracted from Ernest Hlady, The Valley of the Dinosaurs : Its Families and Coal Mines (East Coulee, Alberta, East Coulee Community Association, 1988). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Year of the Coal Miner Consortium would like to thank Ernest Hlady and the East Coulee Community Association for permission to reprint this material.

Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site

bottom spacer

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on coal mining in Western Canada, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Communty Foundation All Rights Reserved