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Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site

Leitch Collieries was one of the largest and most ambitious coal mines in the early history of the Crowsnest Pass. Established in 1907, it was the only coal company in the Pass completely Canadian owned and operated. A ‘colliery’ is a coal mining and processing plant. All of the major mines in the Crowsnest Pass had surface operations where coal was cleaned and graded prior to loading it onto railway cars for shipping, and some operated coke ovens, where coal was superheated without allowing it to burn, producing coke used in the steel industry. The collieries in the Crowsnest Pass were big operations with large impressive structures of stone, brick and wood, each with their own power-generating stations and even their own towns. Leitch Collieries even had its own sandstone quarry, used in the construction of its facilities. Despite less than ten years of active mining, the facilities at Leitch Collieries were impressive structures built to last. Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site is located on Highway 3, about 3.5km east of Bellevue. Designated as a Provincial Historic Site, its remaining structures were stabilized, walking trails established and informative displays were installed. Interpretive staff are on site between May 15 and Labour Day. This fascinating site provides a good insight into the large support plant needed for a major coal mining operation a century ago.

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Location: Crowsnest Pass, Alberta