It's been a great summer so far at the historic Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee, but staff are already looking ahead to the fall and winter.
 
The fourth and final stage of a restoration of the wooden tipple is scheduled to get underway.
 
"The tipple has been our big thing for a long time: it is Canada's last wooden tipple (and) we are the most complete historic coal mine in Canada, so we do have our priorities," explained Jay Russell, Curator at the Atlas Mine. "Once we have the tipple done, we have some other things to do and that's what we want to work on, is prioritizing what's the next big thing."
 
"When you have a seven and a half story structure made of wood, designed in the 1930's with specialty pieces, it does take a bit of work to restore it," he added. "Of course, the other thing is striking a balance, restoring it versus keeping its original integrity, so we only are replacing what we absolutely have to."
 
Work on restoring the 80 year old wooden tipple began in 2014 and this final phase will put a new roof on to protect what's already been done.
 
"We want to put some new interpretation inside the tipple, so there will be some new stuff going on in there," outlined Russell. "Hopefully, we'll have some new, exciting, engaging things, as early as this fall, going into the tipple. The stuff we're working on this year will be official and unveiled for next year's tours."

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