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A closeup of the entrance to the Bellevue Mine, with 1929 engraved above the entry
To Do Canada

Voices Still Echo In the Bellevue Mine

Has the small town escaped its tragic past?

Bellevue is a town rich in history and even richer in coal. In 1903, massive coal deposits were found in the region. It wasn’t long before the town created a mining site called the West Canadian Collieries, now known as the Bellevue Mine.

Since loading its first train car in 1903, the mine produced a whopping 13,000,000 tonnes of coal until it closed in January of 1961. 

While the Bellevue Mine was incredibly successful, it also had its failures. In 1924, there was a six month strike between the mine and its workers. The miners had demanded higher wages.

Unfortunately, their demands went unheard, with wages staying the same until 1939. Around this time, World War II had just started, which increased the demand for coal. 

Worst of all, in 1910 an explosion rocked the Bellvue mine Like many mines in the Crowsnest Pass, methane gas and coal-dust were very dangerous.

If either of these things come into contact with a heat source, an explosion can occur if there isn’t enough air.

Something as simple as a spark or small flame could be enough to trigger an explosion. There is also very little air in mines to begin with.

Put all of these things together and you have a recipe for disaster. At 6:30 PM on December 9, 1910, an explosion at the Bellevue Mine shook the town to its core.

The explosion took the lives of 31 out of 42 men who were working their shift in the mine. While many were killed instantly by the explosion, others suffocated. 

Today, the town offers visitors The Bellevue Mine Tour. The tour explores the first 300 meters of the restored Bellevue Mine entrance. In the blackness of the mine, visitors have claimed to see auras of light and hear people talking.

On one occasion, mine manager Wendy Davies’ lights went out and she heard whistling. 

The Bellevue Mine now serves as a popular tourist destination. The mine has even attracted the attention of the popular TV show, The Other Side. Whether the mine is actually haunted or not is something you will have to go find out for yourself.

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