Sunday, May 21, was a day that the Atlas Coal Mine staff, and those who visited the historic site, will never forget.

The historic site turned 100 years old and the last standing wooden tipple turned 80 years old, which are both huge anniversaries to celebrate.

"Saturday and Saturday, so far, looks like our best May Long weekend days to date. We don't know for certain just yet, but it's looking that way," stated Atlas Coal Mine Curator, Jay Russell.

"Of course the birthday bash was great fun! We had cake and we had about 200 people we gave cake to and ran out in about five minutes, it was a really good problem."

The birthday bash included pit ponies, minecraft games and more fantastic games.

"The pit ponies are always a highlight. The train was running, all the regular tours were going, birthday cake, Marie Russell singing in the wash house, bocce ball and tug of war. It was like a big birthday party with 1,000 of your closest friends," explained Russell.

This is one of the biggest celebrations that the staff have taken part in and Russell noted it's something that each one will remember forever.

"Drumheller Valley is arguably the most important mining region in Western Canada in it's day and the Atlas is the very last one of them. We don't only interpret the Atlas, but of course all the mining history within the valley. What an honour to have this amazing structure, the last of it's kind in Canada, and being able to tell the stories to thousands of visitors that come from across Canada and across the world; it's a huge honour," Russell outlined.

"You go in these buildings sometimes by yourself and you feel the presence of the men and women who worked this valley. These people didn't necessarily mean to build a country, but that's exactly what they did."

So, anything coming up in the future?

"We have our Annual General Meeting coming up in June and of course the public is invited to that. We're going to be experiencing our 500,000 visitor and at last calculations we believe that will be around the 17th or 18th of June," concluded Russell.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

 

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