Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis, History

Canmore, Banff & Kananaskis History Pages

Welcome to the Canmore Alberta History Pages. Here you will find interesting articles and historical information about Canmore, Banff, the Kananaskis Country and the Canadian Rockies.

Rare photographs and well written history is what you can expect to find. Enjoy youself and catch a glimpse of the Canadian Rockies past!

Banff National Park

Declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations in 1995, its exquisite scenery, awe inspiring mountains, alpine meadows and turquoise cold waters form a natural protected habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, black and grizzly bear, fish and over 260 species of birds. Under the shadow of spectacular Castle Mountain in Banff National Park, ghosts refuse to fade away.

Mounds at Castle Mountain »
Under the shadow of spectacular Castle Mountain in Banff National Park, ghosts refuse to fade away. Based on new historical information, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is seeking the support of Parks Canada to re-open an investigation into a suspected grave at the former site of the First World War internment camp - one that may yield a homicide victim. Read More...


For almost a century, Canmore was one of the most important coal mining centres in southern Alberta: a town that grew to 3,000 spartan, salt-of-the-earth miners and their families. When Canmore Mines Ltd. ceased coal production on July 13, 1979, the town was the last coal mining centre in the Bow Valley to permanently shut its doors, following closures decades earlier in nearby Georgetown, Anthracite and Bankhead. Chosen as the site of the Nordic Ski Events (Canmore Nordic Center) for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, Canmore was soon attracting international attention as a major tourist destination. During the past 12 years there has been significant residential and commercial growth in the town resulting in a current population of over 10,000 and a supporting infrastructure that will delight even the most seasoned traveler.

Black-dusted phantoms of Canmore's past »
If visitors to Canmore look closely, ghosts can be found behind bushes along the scores of alpine walking trails. At first, they appear as odd and weathered slabs of concrete popping out of the ground for no good reason, or even large hunks of rusting metal scattered in alpine meadows, or lying out of place behind trees and even beside park benches. Read More...

Kananaskis Country

The Kananaskis Valley, has its share of pioneer stories of half-crazed gold hunters, the most sensational being the legend of the Lost Lemon Mine: a tale of discovery, murder and madness involving two prospectors named Lemon and Blackjack. Legend has it they found a huge seam of gold in the mountains in 1870 but got into a violent argument, ending with Lemon splitting his partner's head open with an axe in the middle of the night. The gold was never recovered nor mined, and to this day, the story of the Lost Lemon Mine is veiled in mystery, but still generating ongoing camp fire theories and debate.

Kananaskis Valley is a place of legends »
From the parking lot at Ribbon Creek, a popular recreational area in Alberta's mountainous Kananaskis Valley, a large open meadow can be seen along the eastern slopes of Mount Allan, the spectacular venue for alpine events during the 1988 Winter Olympics. At the eastern base of the mountain, a half kilometer from the parking lot near Highway 40, hikers sometimes wander into another clearing; a narrow avenue sprinkled with gravel and chunks of coal. At the far end behind bushes and trees, there are odd cement foundations and a cluster of rusted pipes popping out of the ground. A further search in the bushes uncovers the remains of tarpaper shacks and scores of rusted-out tin cans. Read More...

Ozada: Ribbon Crick's coal processing community »
The decision in 1909 not to develop the Kananaskis coal field before Nordegg meant the company had to improvise its mining operations when strip mining began at Ribbon Creek in 1947. The biggest obstacles for production were processing and transportation; there was no spur line built to haul the coal 35 kilometres north for processing on a site along the main CPR track. "To haul the coal out, it was a 22 mile truck ride on a gravel road with lots of steep climbs, especially at Barrier Hill," says Zupido D'Amico, the mine's manager who made the treacherous trip regularly. "The cost was prohibitive." Read More...