Saving a national treasure

Visitors can take part in several tours including a tour of the last wooden tipple in Canada. ECA Review/ J.Webster
Written by Submitted

Visitors can take part in several tours including a tour of the last wooden tipple in Canada. ECA Review/J.Webster

On May 1, 2019 Canada’s last wooden tipple has a new lease on life.

Instead of thousands of tons of coal going through the tipple each season, thousands of visitors from the world over can see, feel and engage with authentic history.

The Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site celebrated a century of Atlas Mines and the completion of their five-year, $1 million conservation project.

In 2012, a multi-year, multi-phase plan was devised to preserve the tipple that was built in 1937.

Without timely attention towards stabilization, this unique structure would have closed to visitors and may have been lost forever.

“Having the last standing wooden Tipple in Canada preserved for future generations is a wonderful achievement for the Drumheller Valley, said Dr. Sarah Newstead, Executive Director of the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site.

“The Atlas Coal Mine is proud to keep the Valley’s coal mining heritage alive, telling the miners stories to thousands of visitors every year.”


Jay Russell, Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site Curator, addresses the crowd on May 1 for their unveiling of the important five-year
project renovations. ECA Review/Submitted

A tipple sorted, stored and loaded coal, very much like a grain elevator.


After being sorted the different sizes of coal were stored in massive storage bins ready to be delivered or loaded onto the waiting trains.

Drumheller coal kept millions of Canadians warm during the first half of the 20th century.

At one time there were hundreds of tipples across Canada.

Conservation efforts to Canada’s last wooden tipple included vital structural repairs, replacement of compressed timbers, replacement of the roof, and creating a public exhibit space.

This project was completed thanks to fundraising, private donations and project grants as this national historic site receives no operational funds from any level of government.



About the author




* indicates required