NAME: Anthracite
PROVINCE: Southern Alberta
AREA: Southern
CLIMATE: Mild in Summer, cold in winter
COMMENTS: Four miles north of Banff.
REMAINS: Foundations.
Anthracite is a coal-mining community, four miles northest of the town of Banff, that lasted from 1886 to 1904. The ruins of a former commercial building, under the shadow of picturesque Cascade Mountain are the only remains left of the community's business section (on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway). On the north side of the highway, visitors can still see huge coal slacks left behind from when the mine closed. Further south of the business section, across the Cascade River, there are still foundations left from several residences, which were still occupied by Parks Canada employees until 1972. In 1997, a former park warden, the last resdient of Anthracite, revealed to authorities he was told in the mid-1960s that there was an unmarked grave in the redidential section of a child who drowned in the Cascade River 100 years earlier. Parks Canada launched an investigation and discovered there indeed was a grave and have since placed a historical marker, the only sign in the area that Anthracite - an important coal mining community for the entire Bow Valley - even existed. Mining operations in Banff national Park - Canada's oldest and most famous park - were banned in the 1930s.

Courtesy Johnnie Bachusky

In 1997, a former resident of Anthracite came forward with a story that a child had been buried in the residential section of the old townsite. The resident said he heard a story in 1965 that a child had drowned in the nearby Cascade River in 1883. Following a government investigation, it was determined it was a "probable" burial site and a plaque - the only modern reminder that Anthracite ever existed - was erected on the long-forgotten coal mining community.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky