Blairmore
Bellevue
History Pg.
Burmis
Coleman
Crowsnest
Frank
Hillcrest
Lille
Police Flats
Sentinel
The Beginnings
This was the first modern settlement in the Crowsnest Pass.
It was called the "Tenth Siding" once the railroad went through.
The community was later renamed "The Springs"
and then the name was changed one last time.
Blairmore was named in honour of
the Hon. A.G. Blairmore, Minister of Railways.
  
A long litigation ensued over the ownership of the townsite
when the CPR station agent (H.E. Lyon) and
first section foreman (Felix Montalbetti) both built homes in 1899.
These legal difficulties resulted in suppression of the towns growth
for a number of years.  The claims were finally settled in 1907.
Economic Development - Mining/Logging
Like all the communities of the Crowsnest Pass,
Blairmore's initial economic foundation was
lumber and coal although the coal properties surrounding the village
were not developed until 1907.
  
Interesting Note: It was also in this year that
a local land owner (Joe Little)
donated 50 acres to the village for use as a cemetery
on the strict provision that miners were to have free burials!
  
In 1945 strip mining had began.
  
In 1958 the Greenhill Mine closed down
but the workers found work in a then
economically diversified community.
Economic Development - General
In 1905 there were many professionals
living and working in the village of Blairmore,
including doctors, barristers, land surveyor,
real estate and insurance agents.
The town also had a local paper.
(These are excellent examples of the draw
that Blairmore had on the entire Crowsnest Pass area.)
   
Also in 1905 the first specimen of zinc bullion was turned out
by the Frank Smelter
and the plans were in the works for The Pass' first opera house.
  
Shortly thereafter plans were announced for the expansion of
the Lethbridge Brewery into Blairmore.
Blairmore was diversifying.
Civic and National Pride
The first civic holiday was held on September 2, 1905,
the day Alberta became a province.
Blairmore was the site for the first circus in the area.
The organizers went all out.
Horse races were actually run on Main Street!
  
In 1909 the miners took a one day holiday to celebrate
an amendment to the Coal Mines Act.
  
On September 29, 1911 Blairmore was incorporated as a town.
With its incorporation came a long list of financial difficulties
many associated with the fledgling towns growing pains.
See below for some of the other difficulties faced.
  
Interesting Note: In 1921 the town purchased a building
to be used as office, jail, kitchen and fire hall!
No one ever claimed the West wasn't interesting!
As with so many of the communities of The Pass,
Blairmore was no stranger to adversity.
  
In 1906 a fire devastated almost an entire block on Main Street.
In May of 1923 a devastating flood runs the Crowsnest
(Oldman) River over its banks resulting in property damage
and lost coal sales totaling a quarter of a million dollars.
This same year saw a the failure of the Home Bank
in which the School District had held most of its working capital.
In 1925 the depression hit and teachers were asked
to take a one-half cut in salary.
The towns secretary requested a 4-month leave of absence
to visit his homeland.
An investigation, started shortly after his departure uncovered
a shortage of $5,000.00.
The secretary was returned from England to face the music.
Further fraudulent acts were perpetrated.
In 1933 the mine union representatives swept into office.
Directly after the elections
the Chief of Police, Electrician and Fire Chief were dismissed.
Another audit was done.
It resulted in the dismissal of the Secretary-Treasurer.
By month's end the town had a completely new organization.
  
Interesting Notes: In 1934 the town seized a washing machine
to satisfy a power and water bill!
and
  Council passed a motion saying that only women on relief
would get free coal
for as long as there was "free coal"  to be gleaned
from the "slag" piles.
  
In 1935 the Chief of Police was arrested
on charges of extortion, found guilty and sentenced.
Also in 1935 "Sporting Houses" were prohibited by the town.
 
Bellevue
History Pg.
Burmis
Coleman
Crowsnest
Frank
Hillcrest
Lille
Police Flats
Sentinel
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