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Key Number: HS 37306
Site Name: Nordegg / Brazeau Collieries Limited - Processing Plant Overview
Other Names:
Site Type: 0725 - Industrial/Manufacturing - Metal and Other Minerals: Mine

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
40 15 4


Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Other:
Town: Nordegg
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape:
Storeys:
Foundation:
Superstructure:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: In foothills, heavy forest cover surroundes site.
Condition:
Alterations: N/A

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Constructed
1910/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Coal Processing Production
Mine Site

1910/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
N/A

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: Site contains, 2 brick structures, a washhouse and machine shop several wood frame structures covered with sheet metal, horse barns, mine tipple, briquette mill, power house. Town of Nordegg set up by the company to house Community of Miners. Foremerly Martin Cohen (German immigrant) discovered deposit and was 1st mine manager. Mr. Sturrock was a later manager. 1910 - formally open. 1912 - rail into site. 1956 - formally closed. - produced steam coal and briquettes. - Nordegg at climax had 1,200 people (tied to the mine economy.) Some buildings on site and in Nordegg worth consideration for designation, much under demolition threat.
*  *  *
Martin Nordegg founded his mine here with part of $60,000 he brought from Germany. The town of Nordegg was set up to house employees of Brazeau Collieries & their families. The last coal mine closed in 1955. The old mine site is now a correctional institute/work camp. Site consists of: The consists of: The Sturrock Church, (all of particular interest to Heritage Sites Service), the butcher shop, Old Miners Club & Pool Hall, and Garage House (to be demolished as fire hazards), Eaton's Big Horn Store, Commerce Bank, theater, old boarding house (presently houses area), CN station buildings. Reservoir flood gate, graveyard for miners killed in Oct. 1941 mine explosion, sheds & miners homes. The mine site consists of horse barns, mine tipple, briquet mill, power plants and wash house.
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RESOURCE                             Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite
ADDRESS                                Nordegg Mine Site (SE 28-40-15-W5M)
BUILT                                      1912 to 1955
DESIGNATION STATUS             Provincial Historic Resource
 
HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE
 
The Nordegg Mine was the last major bituminous coal deposit developed in Alberta.   It was a product of the close inter-relationship between railways, coal mines and foreign investment that existed during the late nineteeth and early twentieth centuries in Canada.
 
The Big Horn-Brazeau region was originally surveyed in 1906 by D.B. Dowling of the Geological Survey of Canada.   Representing German interests, Martin Nordegg staked out several thousand acres here in 1907, with Brazeau Collieries Limited getting underway in 1909.
 
The surface structures of the Brazeau Collieries plant included several wood-frame buildings (generator house, repair shop, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, warehouse, mine office, wash house, commissary, track scales and two exhaust fans) and two buildings sided with corrugated metal (the boiler house and tipple).   In 1923, Brazeau was the largest producing mine in Alberta.
 
The depression severely affected all of the coal mining operations in the province and Brazeau Collieries constantly had to adjust for the limitations of both its production and the markets.   In 1936, the company purchased a second-hand briquetting outfit that allowed them to improve their product and thereby expand their market.
 
In 1950, a fire completely destroyed the surface plant and Brazeau Collieries took this opportunity to modernize.   A combination of several factors, including the CNR's switch to diesel locomotives, the federal government's decision not to establish an all-Canadian national fuel policy, and the effects of the Leduc gusher of 1947, led to the ultimate decline of the mine and its closing on January 14, 1955.
 
The 75 buildings on this site are all industrial structures designed to provide work space and/or house machinery.   They were built between 1914 and 1951, and therefore represent a range of industrial architecture covering the first half of the twentieth century.
 
*     *      *
The Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite is the last major bitumous coal region developed in Alberta. Constructed in 1911-12, it emerged as a product of the close inter-relationship between railway, coal mines and foreign investment that existed during the late decades of the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth centuries in Canada. Coal production at the mine increased until it reached its peak in 1923 at nearly 500,000 tones. A combination of several factors - the CNR's switch to diesel locomotives, the federal government's decision not to establish an 'all Canadian' national fuel policy, and the effects of the Leduc gusher of 1947 - led to the ultimate decline of the mine and its closing January 14th 1955.
(Site Data Form, September 1989)
History: RESOURCE Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite
ADDRESS Nordegg Mine Site (SE 28-40-15-W5M)
BUILT 1912 to 1955
DESIGNATION STATUS Provincial Historic Resource

HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The Nordegg Mine was the last major bituminous coal deposit developed in Alberta. It was a product of the close inter-relationship between railways, coal mines and foreign investment that existed during the late nineteeth and early twentieth centuries in Canada.

The Big Horn-Brazeau region was originally surveyed in 1906 by D.B. Dowling of the Geological Survey of Canada. Representing German interests, Martin Nordegg staked out several thousand acres here in 1907, with Brazeau Collieries Limited getting underway in 1909.

The surface structures of the Brazeau Collieries plant included several wood-frame buildings (generator house, repair shop, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, warehouse, mine office, wash house, commissary, track scales and two exhaust fans) and two buildings sided with corrugated metal (the boiler house and tipple). In 1923, Brazeau was the largest producing mine in Alberta.

The depression severely affected all of the coal mining operations in the province and Brazeau Collieries constantly had to adjust for the limitations of both its production and the markets. In 1936, the company purchased a second-hand briquetting outfit that allowed them to improve their product and thereby expand their market.

In 1950, a fire completely destroyed the surface plant and Brazeau Collieries took this opportunity to modernize. A combination of several factors, including the CNR's switch to diesel locomotives, the federal government's decision not to establish an all-Canadian national fuel policy, and the effects of the Leduc gusher of 1947, led to the ultimate decline of the mine and its closing on January 14, 1955.

The 75 buildings on this site are all industrial structures designed to provide work space and/or house machinery. They were built between 1914 and 1951, and therefore represent a range of industrial architecture covering the first half of the twentieth century.
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Description of Historic Place

The Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite is a collection of industrial structures, support buildings and related machinery all associated with the coal-mining operations of the Brazeau Collieries. The buildings, which are situated on a hillside, are constructed of a variety of materials. Most of the support buildings are constructed of wood and brick while the coal processing structures – the tipple, boiler house, briquette plant – are clad in metal sheets. The site encompasses approximately thirty-one hectares of land in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The minesite is located south of Highway 11, approximately 80 kilometers west of Rocky Mountain House and 60 kilometers northeast of Banff National Park.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite lies in its association with the development of Alberta’s coal-mining industry. It is also an excellent example of coal-mining and coal-processing industrial architecture.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Abandoned
Abandoned
1940/01/01
1985/03/19
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
1993/08/25
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/05/08

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0571
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