Playwright Novelist Screenwriter

The Last Edmonton Coal Mine: Whitemud Creek

Whitemud Creek Coal Mine tipple, Edmonton, 1969. The mine operated from 1952 to 1970 in Rainbow Valley. Photo by Isabel Hill, City of Edmonton Archives ET-11-134.

In her third historical piece for Edmonton City as Museum Project (ECAMP), Katherine Koller writes about “The Last Edmonton Coal Mine: Whitemud Creek” and explores coal mining in Edmonton, the landscape in the Whitemud Creek area and her personal connections to relatives from Poland who worked at the mine.

“I watched the horses coming up the dark inside slope to the mine entrance, pulling cars full of coal. I thought the horses were very brave. I asked the miner leading them along if the horses were happy to come up into the air, the light, and the green, and he said, ‘No, they like it underground. They’re used to it.’ That surprised me. Beyond the opening was dark and dust, a black hole.”