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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


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
40 15 4

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


Type Number Date View


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


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
Coal Processing Production
Mine Site

Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: RESOURCE Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Minesite
ADDRESS Nordegg Mine Site (SE 28-40-15-W5M)
BUILT 1912 to 1955
DESIGNATION STATUS Provincial Historic Resource


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.

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.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/05/08


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0571
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