Masthead image
Anthracite
Anthracite was a coal mining community, seven kilometres, (four miles) northeast of the town of Banff, that lasted from 1886 to 1904. The town once boasted a population of more than 300. It's business section included an hotel, general store, hardware store, pool hall, barber shop and restaurant.

The ruins of a former commercial building (below right), 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 foundations left from several residences, which were still occupied by Parks Canada employees until 1972. Mining operations in Banff national Park - Canada's oldest and most famous park - were banned in the 1930s. For many years after, until 1972, Parks Canada housed employees at the remaining homes in the residential part of Anthracite.

Old Anthracite
A picture of the mine site of Anthracite (foreground) and the townsite behind (left). Cascade Mountain looms in the background. The photograph was taken in 1895 from the nearby hoodoos. Photo courtesy of the Centennial Museum Society of Canmore.
Anthracite Old Road
Foundation ruins
At left is the old road to Anthracite..

At right are the foundation ruins of an old building. In the background is majestic Mount Cascade. Today, there is only the foundation ruins of this building in picture left from the business section.

© Johnnie Bachusky
© Johnnie Bachusky
Marker for an unknown child

In 1997, a Banff newspaper story reported that John Pearson, a former resident and self-proclaimed ôLast mayor of Anthracite, knew of an unreported gravesite of a child who died in 1883. The story prompted Parks Canada to investigate. Pearson, a former park warden, said a former neighbor at Anthracite told him in 1965 that the 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 at the site of the long-forgotten coal mining community.

© Johnnie Bachusky