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Home > History of Development > Alberta's Heroes of Resource Development > Hydrocarbon Heroes >  Martin Nordegg

Alberta's Scientific Heroes

Martin Nordegg

Brazeau colliery, Nordegg, Alberta, established by Martin Nordegg.  ca. 1913-1914. Born in 1868, Martin Nordegg arrived in Canada from Germany in 1906, invited by the Federal Government to aid in the development of Canada's natural resources. In 1907, he arrived at the Rocky Mountains to prospect for coal. A few years later, he discovered and developed rich coal deposits on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. 

The Nordegg field was first located in 1910, and Nordegg began mining two huge coal seams in 1911. Martin Nordegg built the largest mine in Alberta and created a model town that bears his name to this day. 

Martin planned and built a modern mining town. The main streets were laid in a circle, with the side streets running in line to the center, much like a wagon's wheel. But shortly after creating his town, Nordegg was expelled from Canada during the First World War. He returned in 1922, after World War I. 

Martin Nordegg sold his interest in Brazeau Collieries, the company he had built, in 1923. He remained in Canada until his death in 1948. In 1955, as a result of lowering coal markets, Brazeau Collieries and the town of Nordegg closed. Today, Nordegg is considered a National Historic Site of Canada. Visitors are welcome to discover the area as it is now and discover more about its past.

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