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Mine Manager's House

Canmore

Other Names:
McNeill Heritage Inn
McNeill Inn
Mine Managers Residence
Mining Superintendent's Home
Mining Superintendent's House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place


Heritage Value


Character-Defining Elements


Location



Street Address: 5001 - 3 Sisters Drive
Community: Canmore
Boundaries: Plan 761 0775, Block 5, Lot 24
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
10
24
32
5 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
7610775
5
24


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.088035 -115.373524

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource Rescinded
Date of Designation: 1981/02/18

Historical Information

Built: 1907 to 1907
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s)
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The Mine Manager's House was constructed in 1907 for Walter F. McNeill, of the McNeill Coal Company. The McNeill Coal Company had extensive coal mining interests in Washington State and in 1891, acquired a lease for the Canadian Anthracite Coal Company's mines at Canmore and Anthracite. W.F. McNeill's father and uncle opened the mines in Canada, while he remained in Washington. In 1895, Walter McNeill moved to Canmore to assume the position of mine manager. He commuted between Canmore and Washington until 1900 when all the McNeill interests in the U.S. were sold, leaving the Canmore and Anthracite Mines as the McNeill's only holdings.

In 1907, work on the house was begun by a local contractor in consultation with Mrs. McNeill, also an American. There still exists within the building, some wrought iron railing which Mrs. McNeill had brought from California. During the next five years, the house became the centre of social life in the Canmore corridor. The McNeill's were a generous family and entertained frequently. McNeill is also reputed to have been a fair employer, and living and working conditions in Canmore were considered to be the most favourable in the province.

In 1912, the McNeill Coal Company's base from the Canadian Anthracite Company lapsed and the McNeill family moved to Calgary. Mr. McNeill was subsequently appointed to the Workmen's Compensation Board that was instrumental in passing the Workmen's Compensation Act in 1922. He was also active with the Western Coal Operators Association and was a member of the 1919 Royal Commission on Mining in Alberta. McNeill clearly made an important contribution to the miners' and workers' cause in Alberta.

The house was occupied by Mine Managers and employees until the 1950s when it was sold to Duncan McKinnon Crockford, an Alberta artist. The house regained its reputation as a social centre during their tenancy that was highlighted by a visit from the Honourable John Diefenbaker in the later 1950s.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0204
Designation File: DES 0237
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 20683
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 237)
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