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When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
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Garnet Coyle

Garnet Napier Coyle's home was in Montreal, Quebec. He came West to Acme about 1910 and operated a Hardware store. There he met and made a close friend of esse Gouge, who owned a machinery store.

Mr. Gouge became enthusiastic about coal deposits in the Drumheller Valley, but not having enough capital himself to finance a venture of this type, he interested Mr. Coyle in the project, with the result that "G. N." sold his store in Acme for $4,500 and borrowed $10,000 from his Mother, and he and Jesse opened the Newcastle Mine.

It was a well-known fact, not only locally, but amongst G. N's associates back East, that in any investment he made, he doubled or tripled his money, which gave him the name of the "man with the golden touch."

Mr. Coyle spent several months a year in Drumheller checking on his investments. He usually hopped on a plane, carrying nothing with him but a box of Kleenex—anything he required could be purchased when he came. His home while in Drumheller was the Hotel Alexandra "where the guest was king," and Charlie Guterson, nicknamed "The Black Prince" was his genial host and friend.

As well as having an interest in the Midland Mine, the Newcastle Collieries and the A.B.C., he had an interest in Jim Beatty's farm, owned several dwellings, and eventually owned both the Regent and Napier Theatres (the latter being named after him).

Garnet Napier Coyle died in Quebec May 30, 1961.

The article titled "Garnet Napier Coyle" by Marguerite Playle is reprinted from The Hills of Home: Drumheller Valley (Drumheller Valley History Association, 1973). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Year of the Coal Miner Consortium (the Atlas Coal Mine is a members) would like to thank the author and the Drumheller Valley History Association for this contribution.

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