has the unique distinction of being the first settlement in the
Crowsnest Pass and has subsequently experienced three name
changes. The original name of the settlement was "Tenth Siding."
However, after a short period in which it was known as "The
Springs," Blairmore was given its current name on 15 November
1898, in honour of the Honourable A. G. Blair, Minister of
Railways in the federal government.
Property disputes plagued Blairmore, and likely delayed the
development of the mining industry in the area. In the spring of
1899, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station Agent H. E. Lyon
and First Section Foreman Felix Monalbetti built log houses in
the settlement. Both claimed squatter's rights and a legal
battle ensued for full ownership of the area. At stake was land
deemed valuable due to the construction of a nearby mine at
Frank.. As the area was growing in value, neither man backed
away from his claim.
From 1 September 1901, to when the claims were finally
settled in 1907, Blairmores development lagged behind other
Crowsnest Pass towns because obtaining lot titles was difficult.
Still, people settled the area, and many professionals and
labourers came to Blairmore in search of work.. By 1905,
Blairmore could boast doctors, barristers, land surveyors, and
insurance agents. Like other towns in the Pass, Blairmores
primary economy consisted of lumber and mining. It was not until
1907, that the coal properties surrounding the village were
The development of the coal industry in Blairmore faced a
number of challenges. In 1921 and 1922, unemployment problems
forced the local unions to seek relief for more than 70
unemployed men. Matters were further complicated the following
year when Blairmore experienced one of the most devastating
floods in Pass history, the Crowsnest River and its tributaries
overflowed. Officials estimated the damage at $250,000 in
property, rail tracks, bridges, waterlines, and loss of coal
Upon the closure of the mines, the town's population started
to decline. What should have been an economic blow was offset by
people coming to the area seeking recreational and retirement
homes. Centrally located in the Crowsnest Pass, Blairmore has
become a commercial centre for the area.