WAYNE

NAME: Wayne
COUNTY: N/a
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Cold winters, warm summers
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer
COMMENTS: Off main valley highway, cross 11 one-lane bridges to get to townsite. Historic hotel and saloon still serves visitors
REMAINS: Abandoned homes, mining artifacts scatter Badlands landscape

Deep in the heart of Albertas Badlands, ghostowners can find the tiny village of Wayne, once a thriving coal-mining town of more than 3,000. But now, the ghosts are knocking in Wayne, which has witnessed its population dwindle to about 40 diehard souls.Wayne is about 10 miles southeast of Drumheller, the main centre in the Alberta Badlands, and area of the province which is considered to hold the richest dinosaur fossil beds in the world. To get to village, visitors must get off the main highway six miles east of Drumheller and then drive four miles in a winding moon-like valley, crossing 11 one lane bridges, each with a wooden plank bed. Along the way, visitors will see countless coal mining relics of the past, including abandon homes and machinery.Wayne was one community of several that sprang up after the Red Deer Coal Company introduced the areas first mine in 1912. By 1932, the area, including Wayne, was booming, holding a population of more than 10,000. But the coal mines started closing down in 1932. And by 1957, the last mine closed, and each town in the valley started declining.During its heyday, Wayne supported a school, hospital, theatre and several stores but today, with its Main Street barely visible, only the Rosedeer Hotel hangs on. The hotel, built in 1913 is the only structure remaining of the mining days. Inside the Saloon you will find the walls covered with old black and white photographs of Wayne and the coal mines plus a collection of mining gear. Submitted by: Johnnie Bachusky

Wayne may be but an insignificant shell of what it once was and in hopes of tourists coming to browse around to spend a few dollars at its hotel and store and maybe even decide to stay. From 1914, when the Rose Deer Mine that opened in 1912 finally got going, until 1932 when the great depression hit the town with a vengeance, Wayne had grown to upwards of 1500 hardy, hard-working people. During those years, the town had a grain elevator, lumberyard, service station, garage, and a general store. It also had four tennis courts, a baseball diamond, skating rink, theatre, bank, tailor shop, dance hall, meat market, and a hotel. But the depression years of the 1930s finished the flourishing town of Wayne. Mines closed, people moved away looking for jobs that were practically non-existent, and those who did stay had to rely on their gardens and “relief” until better times finally came. But Wayne never recovered. By 1956, the population was down to 255 and that was reduced to 93 ten years later. Today, it is a sleepy hamlet nestled in a valley reached by a gravel road that follows Rosebud Creek from Rosedale. Here, empty buildings beckon the ghost towner to spend a leisurely afternoon or day. H.B. Chenoweth


Wayne
Courtesy Johnnie Bachusky


Wayne
Courtesy Johnnie Bachusky


Wayne
Courtesy Johnnie Bachusky


Wayne
Courtesy Johnnie Bachusky

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