|Getting There |||138 kms (an hour and 15 minutes drive) northeast of Calgary|
Profile Last Updated: May 22, 2009
The coal mines are long gone, but the city of Drumheller thrives with close to 8,000 residents and a tourism industry that took over when the mines shut down. The discovery of dinosaur bones and prehistoric fossils put Drumheller on the map, but it was the discovery of coal that populated the valley and built the city, also know as Drum. Had it not been for the luck of a coin toss, the Red Deer River valley would be known as Greentree valley instead of Drumheller valley. Homesteader Samuel Drumheller won a coin toss with Thomas Greentree and Drumheller was born.
The discovery of coal
The discovery of coal in the valley created jobs and brought prosperity to area for several years. The first coal mine opened in 1911 and many more followed, but the discovery of natural gas, a cleaner-burning fossil fuel, led to the eventual demise of the coal mines in the valley. The same prehistoric past that formed the coal seems in the valley also left behind and abundance of dinosaur fossils. In search of coal, Joseph Tyrrell uncovered the skeletal remains of an Albertasaurous. Like so many other towns that depended on mining or resources for their survival, Drumheller has adjusted and welcomes tourists from around the world. The valley offers visitors a look into the coalmining history through museums and attractions as well as a look into the area's prehistoric past. The badlands with its hoodoos and coulees serve as an amazing backdrop for this very unique valley.