BELLEVUE UNDERGROUND MINE

2531 213 Street, bellevue, ab

(403) 564-4700

Status: Former Coal Mine; Tourist Attraction; Open Seasonally

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History

In 1903 a rich vein of coal was discovered in Bellevue. By December of that same year the new mine was delivering their first load to the Canadian Pacific Railway; which would become their biggest customer.

By the early 1920’s the demand for coal began to fall resulting in lay offs and strikes for better wages. When World War II began in 1939 the demand for coal increased resulting in a short-lived boom. By 1941 the mine was producing more coal than it ever had before but low government enforced prices and the sheer abundance of coal made even that year one of losses.

By the end of the 1940’s mechanical equipment had put an end to many mining jobs in Alberta and the world but the steepness of the coal vein at Bellevue made the use of machines to mine nearly impossible. The jobs stayed but not for long.

When in the late 1950’s the railway switched from coal to much cleaner diesel fuel it spelled the final days of the mine. By the end the remaining miners were only working 10 to 12 days a month. Attempts were made to find new markets but they didn’t pan out.

With the government not providing any financial assistance the mine finally closed in January of 1961.

Over 13,000,000 tons of coal were mined here. At least 50 miners lost their lives in the mine mostly due to explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The mine is now open seasonally giving people a chance to go 1000 feet (304.8 metres) into the mine – 150 feet (45.7 metres) beneath the earth’s surface – and experience life as a miner. Any further penetration into the old mine is impossible due to serious safety concerns.

 

Paranormal Activity

One paranormal investigation had their light helmets go out and unexplained whistling which was describing as sounding like a waltz. They also had ghosts communicate with them and answering their questions using a spirit box.

People have seen apparitions of the miners while on the tours; children are the most common reporters of this activity.

Disembodied voices as well as bird calls are also reported. Birds in cages were used to test the air in mines.

There are also reports of people being touched by unseen presences; one person reported being tapped on the shoulder.

Other Reported Activity: shadow figures; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of unease and of being watched.