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Coal Miner's Son; Coal Miner's Daughter
Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
East Coulee , Alberta


   Coal mining was the
economic engine that drove
the bustling towns of the
Drumheller Valley in the
1920s, so residents expected
that boys would drop out of
school after eighth grade to
go work in the pits. Often, a
young man's first job
entailed pushing empty coal

cars from the coal face to
the main track, after which
he might progress to driving
ponies, operating machinery
or digging the coal itself.
And even though girls and
women were not allowed to
work in the mines, their
lives were bound to the
rhythm of the mines all the

same. In most cases, their
fathers and brothers were
miners and they eventually
married miners themselves.
This exhibition will explore
the choices facing a young
person living in the
Drumheller Valley in the

   We are very grateful to
Ms. Jennie Nahornick for her
countless hours on the phone
tracking down the pictures
that have made this exhibit
possible. Thanks Jenny we
couldn't have done it without
your help!

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