Page 16 - October 2, 2017
P. 16

Travel to the past on Heritage Bus Tour

by Dana McArthur area. to the Depression, miners had sporadic work in
At its peak in the late 1940's the town had over summer, if at all.
The dawn light mingled with overcast skies, 1200 residents. Mercoal declined after the mines After a short stop in Robb, Spanach and
marking a wavering promise of the day ahead, as closed in 1959 due to the abandonment of steam Williams took turns telling stories of the past and
we headed to the Tipple Park Museum in powered trains for diesel. It is now essentially a living in the area. Several of the bus passengers
Evansburg. ghost town with only a small number of were residents of the Coal Branch during its
My son and I climbed out of the warm cocoon residences remaining. heyday, and shared their own stories back and
of our van and were struck by the damp morning The town boasted a Legion, a hotel, hospital, forth.
air. It was the kind of cool fall air that makes post office, cafe, pool hall, drug store, grocer, As the bus reached the turnoff to Mercoal,
everything smell fresh, and hot coffee smell dance hall, barbershop and more. In the winter along the picturesque unpaved Highway 40 to
inviting. months work in the mine was plentiful, but due Cadomin, we discovered the entrance was
The bus had already arrived and a few fellow continued on page 17
travelers were beginning to gather for the
Yellowhead County's Heritage Tour on
September 22.
I have spent many summers trail riding and
hiking in the Cadomin area along the eastern
slopes of the Rockies, where the tour was headed
today, but had not returned there for nearly 20
A few quiet greetings were exchanged boarding
the bus, mixed with morning conversation about
how the wet weather was hindering local
harvests, and the damage caused by the last hail
After stops in Niton and Edson the bus, now
filled to capacity, made its way down scenic
Highway 47 on its way to Robb. There, we were
to pick up George Spanach, who grew up in
Mercoal, and County Councillor Jack Williams,
who has a long history of living and working in
the Coal Branch region.
Along the way Heritage Coordinator Jenny
Seibel played a video on the founding of
Mercoal, a hard coal mine, and the first in the
Tour members gather for a bit of socializing and to stretch their legs in Cadomin during Yellowhead
County's Heritage Tour on September 22. photo Dana McArthur

With an early snow, the mountains near Cadomin were already covered in a
blanket of white. photo Dana McArthur

The coal mine at Luscar sits nestled between the mountians. photo Dana A picturesque scene of a home in Cadomin. photo Dana McArthur
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