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Key Number: HS 20683
Site Name: Mine Manager's House
Other Names:
Site Type: 0101 - Residential: Single Dwelling


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
24 10 5

Address: 500 - 3 Sisters Drive
Number: 1
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Town: Canmore
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular
Storeys: Storeys: 1 1/2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Stone
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Low Hip
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Roof Trim - Eaves: Projecting Eaves
Dormer Type: Gable
Window - Special Types: Bay, Bow or Oriel
Exterior: House is a one and one-half storey hip-roofed frame structure sided with clapboard, widely overhanging eaves on two facades form a gallery supported by square piers. Large gable dormer on the main facade is echoed by a pedimented blind gable on a side facade. Large bay windows pierce the front and the side facades which are also encompassed by the gallery.
Interior: Oak floors, stone fireplace (black rundle stone on top), wainscotting in dining room, living room and music room, wood trim painted dark brown, bead and real moulding, tongue and groove boards on floor and wall (6' wide), walls covered with gyprock panels.
Environment: Area also known as mine side. The building is located on a flat piece of ground on the side of a steep hill which drops to the Bow River. Overlooking the Bow River, beside the power plant in Canmore.
Condition: Structure: Good. Repair: Fair. 3 JAN 1977. The building is in reasonably good condition and considerable maintenance work has been done in recent years.
Alterations: 1951 - concrete foundations.


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
Mine Manager's House
Owner: Owner Date:
Joseph G. Thorp & McLeod Stewart & Louis S. Taiuter
Canadian Anthracite Coal Company Ltd
Canmore Mines Limited
Duncan McKinnon Crockford
Canmore Mines Limited
Dillingham Properties Limited
Kenneth V. Joubert & Fern Beverly Joubert
Rose & Crown Restaurants Limited
Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: 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 operated 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 railings 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 McNeills were a generous family and entertained frequently. McNeill is also reputed to have been a fair employer and the 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 Coal Company lapsed and the McNeill family moved to Calgary. Mr. McNeill was subsequently appointed to the Workmen's Compensation Board which 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 Manger 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 which was highlighted by a visit from the Honourable John Diefenbaker in the later 1950s. The mine manager's house at Canmore is an attractive country cottage, distinguished by its low, broad proportions and gallery. These elements of massing and detailing separate it from the more common vertically oriented houses of the period, although it does not conform to the usual bungalow styling of one storey structures. * * * Walter Floyd McNeill. Clipping File, Glebow. 1895 - became manger of McNeill Bros. Coal Mine, Canmore, BC, 1st leaned of labor and employees problems, perceived need of compensation 1917 - president of Compensation Board, August Albertan 30 May 1901(61?) - mines began to supply steam coal for CPR - Mine Manager's House - built by the McNeill family, owned later by artist Duncan Crockford - stone foundation 60'long x 35' wide - McNeill - sympathetic man, supposedly kind to his miners - was, by training, a mining engineer 1897 - McNeill Coal Co., est. by Walter F's uncle and father, but he worked in Fairfax because it was so busy there August 31, 1917 - appointed to Compensation Commission - served on board until 1936 when Alberhart took over - also worked on Old Age Pension Act, terminated 1935. R.M. Young - Superintendent of Mines, Canmore (file on him in Glenbow) - cement in basement dated 1918, 1907 (Mrs Appleby says 1918) - Duncan MacKinnon - Crockford - lived there in early 1950s - slides, photo, pictures - frame structure and board - boards in good shape - dormer at near - used to be flat, now peaked - snow problems - 2 layers wood shingles - worried about registered status - would provide more flexibility. * * * Mine Manager's House 5001 Three Sisters Drive - 1895 Walter McNeill became Mine Manager - until 1912 - first resident: Walter F. McNeill and Family 1907-1912 - built 1907 by local contractor, designed by Mr. and Mrs McNeill - owned by Canadian Anthracite Coal Company - is styled after wide verandah of Louisiana Plantation home - originally located on 16 acre site - acreage reduced in later years - grounds had tennis court and it is rumoured a swimming pool though remains of pool have not been discovered - home was summer residence - McNeil family wintered in Florida - became social centre of Bow Corridor as McNeills were generous and entertained frequently - McNeill considered a fair employer and conditions in the mine were more favourable than elsewhere in the province at this time - 1912 H.W. McNeill Coal Co. lease with Canadian Anthracite Coal Co. lapsed and W. McNeill family moved to Calgary. W.F. McNeil appointed to Worksman's Compensation Board and was partly responsible for passage of Workman's Compensation Act in 1922. McNeill became active in the West Coal Operators Association and was a member of the 1919 Royal Commission on Mining in Alberta. 1925 - R.M. Young became the new Mine Manager and he and family moved into the house. Young was former secretary of the Crows Nest Pass Coal Company in Fernie B.C., but resigned from that job to become Commissioner of the West Canada Coal Operators Association in Calgary until 1925 when he took his position as Mine Manager at Canmore. - 1938, May 12 - title transferred to Canmore Mines Ltd. R.M. Young and family moves to Calgary. Young became president of the Western Canada Bituminous Coal Operators Association from 1938 to 1941. He died on June 20, 1951 in Calgary and was still Executive Vice President of the Canmore Mines at the time. - 1938-1950 - house occupied by various mine managers, superintendents and mine employees. - 1949(50)-1955 - rented by Alberta artist Duncan McKinnon Crockford. House gained notorious reputation because of Mr. Crockfords colorful antics. At one time both Lester B. Pearson and John G. Diefenbaker were in attendance at one of Mr. Crockford's B.B.Q.'s. - 1955-1970 - variety of local mine managers used the home until a housing shortage caused the house to be internally subdivided to house newly arrived families from Eastern Coal Fields. Much interior damage was done to the fine woodwork at this time. - During 1960's house was rented to Young transient families. 1970-1975 - house was abandoned and boarded up by mine. It was broken into and used by roving partiers. The house was badly vandalized at this time. - 1972 - title transferred to Dillingham Corporation - 1976 - subdivision of about 2 acres transferred to (Harles W. Gregory, a managing director of Canmore Mines Ltd. - a division of the Dillingham Group. House put up for tender. - 1976 - title transferred to Ken and Fern Joubert (Alberta Government Psychologist and Wife). - Jouberts began restoring house. All repairs with help of friends family and volunteers. Over 25 people responded to their add in the paper, and turned out to help scrape and repaint the outside. It took two days. Over 67 pains of glass were replaced - 1980 - Jouberts received 'Alberta Historic Resource' designation for this house and a five year grant for maintenance, preservation, protection and replacement. Most repairs were finished by this time. 1975 - Alberta's Anniversary - home was photographed by Alberta Association of Architects and used in their travelling display. 1981 - Jouberts retire to Vancouver Island. Residence sold to Syndicate of Calgary families. 1983 - sold to Rose and Crown * * * Walter Floyd McNeill An Alberta resident for the past 62 years, Walter Floyd McNeill, 333 - 38th Avenue SW died at Holy Cross Hospital Sunday. He was 83. Mr. McNeil was born in Springfield, Ill., [Nov. 1, 1872], and came to Canmore in 1895 as manager of McNeil Bros. Coal Mines. He was appointed commissioner for Western Coal Operators Association for Alberta and B.C. in 1912. He was made commissioner for the Compensation Board of Alberta in 1917 and in 1935 he became president and secretary-treasurer of the Mutual Investments Co. Ltd. He was a member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry,Seattle Consistory; life member of the Cascade Lodge No. 61 A.F. and A.M. A member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, Tacoma Council of Kadosh, Tacoma, Wash.; AFIFI Temple AAONMS, Tacoma,Wash.; and the Al Azhar Temple, AAONMS, Calgary. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, Calgary, and son Wilbur F., Calgary.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/07/31


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0204
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