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Nordegg, Martin

In 1906, Martin Nordegg arrived from Germany into Canada. He was invited by the Federal Government in order to develop Canada's resources. In 1907, he arrived at the Rocky Mountains to look for coal. A few years later, he discovered and mined rich coal deposits (places with lots of coal) on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Coal is found in long layers buried in the earth. These layers are called “seams” of coal.

Nordegg began mining two huge coal seams in 1911. Martin Nordegg built the largest mine in Alberta and created a model town (Nordegg) 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 centre, much like a wagon's wheel. But shortly after creating his town, Nordegg was forced to leave Canada during the First World War. Canada was at war with Germany and Martin was a German. He returned in 1922 after World War I.

He remained in Canada until his death in 1948. Today, Nordegg is considered a National Historic Site of Canada. Visitors are welcome to discover the area as it is now and find out more about its past.