NAME: Mercoal
CLIMATE: Warm summers/cold winters
COMMENTS: The road to Mercoal is gravel, so it is best to have a four-wheel drive. There are less than 100 residents, many of them seasonal
REMAINS: Mine ruins
Mercoal’s coal mine operation in the Alberta Coal Branch was opened in 1920, and its resources were known for high quality coal suitable for railway and industrial use.The mine and the town boomed in the 1940s and the population rose from just over 200 to 825.When many of the other mines in the Coal Branch, located in north-central Alberta, started to close in the 1950s, workers came to Mercoal to look for work, often bringing their homes as well.However, Mercoal would soon follow the fate of other nearby communities — due to the railways switching from coal to diesal — and the mine shut down in 1959.Today, the former mining community barely hangs on, with many of the remaining residents using the town only for summer and fall recreation. Submitted by Johnnie Bachusky. Submitted by: Johnnie Bachusky

A rusted decades-old fire hydrant in the former mine site of Mercoal.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

The former mine and townsite of Mercoal is now completely abandoned, except for one rusted decades-old fire hydrant.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

A few ruins of Mercoal's coal operations still remain at the former site.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

The former mining community's name is etched on the side of a remaining coal slack.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

Reminders of Mercoal's former coal operations, including crumbling foundations, can still be found.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

A drainage pipe from the former mine sticks out from the side of a hill at Mercoal.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.

The train station at Mercoal may long be gone but a sign still stands to mark the former mining community.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky.