The Rosedale Mine came to fruition as a result of J. Frank
Moodie. Moodie founded the mine in 1912, soon after discovering
coal near the Star Mine, also located in the Drumheller Valley.
Once finished, Rosedale could boast one the most impressive
camps in the area, complete with kitchens, sleeping quarters,
showers, baths, and a recreation hall.
Since only a small population occupied the Drumheller Valley
in 1912, Moodie needed to import a workforce. His labour came
predominantly from Europe, and drew a significant immigrant
community into the Drumheller Valley. Instrumental in building
Alberta prior to the First World War, many immigrants took jobs
building the railway, breaking the land, and working the mines.
The coal industry in particular, welcomed these labourers for
their established work ethic and cheap labour.
After the War, the face of the Rosedale mineworker changed.
In 1919, the newly formed One Big Union (OBU) sparked a vicious
labour war in the Valley in their attempt to unite all
industrial workers under one banner. Veterans returned from
overseas to find the economy in upheaval and had difficulty
procuring work. Many wondered why the "enemy alien" immigrants
had good jobs, while Canadian and British citizens were
Moodie perceived the growing tensions and refused to have his
camp unionized. Instead, he hired the veterans returning from
Europe, and for protection, a detachment of the Royal North West
Mounted Police (RNWMP). The ensuing Drumheller Strike of 1919
was a vicious labour movement that saw the united strikers stand
off against an alliance between government, rival union the
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), and mine operators.
Although the labour dispute threatened the Rosedale Mine, the
RNWMP prevented the threat of strikers wrecking Moodie's
machinery and camp. The threat soon subsided when the OBU
dissolved, and Moodie probably rehired his immigrant workers.
Many Drumheller Valley operators, who had hired war veterans,
terminated their employment after the strike, finding some to be
lazy and incompetent.
Present day Rosedale is not actually located where Moodies
camp once was. Instead, the settlement is located across the Red
Deer River, separated from the camp by Rosedales swinging
bridge. The current Rosedale site was established in 1918, when
a returning soldier opened a candy and fruit store, and the town
was literally built around it. The area's population reached its
peak prior to the Depression and declined even further when the
Rosedale and Star mines were closed in 1952 and 1957,
respectively. Today Rosedale is a small and quiet suburb of