The Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society (no. 50412366) operates the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site (BN 13832 3043 RR0001), an extensive industrial heritage site. Designated at both the national and provincial levels, the Atlas preserves the last of the 139 mines which operated in the Drumheller Valley from 1911-1979. Our mandate is to preserve and present the days when "Coal was King" in the Drumheller Valley. The site comprises 31 hectares with numerous buildings, trackways, machines, tools, and documents from the working mine.
The Atlas is a locally operated, visitor-supported site, with no operational support from any level of government. Visitation revenues increased 680% from 2000 to 2013, and we see more than 35,000 paying visitors each year. These visitors include over 100 group tours, mostly from schools. We offer a dynamic interpretive program, and special events.
Although the visitor services program is the engine that drives other museum functions, we are energetically implementing collections management, research, and historic restoration projects. We seek partnerships with other organizations to develop the economic and cultural landscape of the region.
Tunnel Vision is our 10 year development plan, with 4 pillars. The purpose of Tunnel Vision is to complete building conservation and develop the facility to a sustainable level, empowering us to preserve the nationally designated historic resources we hold in trust for the people of Canada. We have completed three pillars, and are in the planning stages for the final pillar.
The Executive Director answers to a board of directors, with the Curator and Visitor Services Manager making up the remainder of the year round staff. Summer staff comprise a Collections Technician and seven Heritage Interpreters. Employment subsidy programs are crucial for these positions. The Interpreters are trained and coached by the Curator and Visitor Services manager and supported by a summer Team Leader. Approximately 100 volunteers each year enliven our special events, and provide expert consultation and services.
Building conservation is contracted out. Landscape maintenance is performed by inmate volunteers from the Minimum Security Unit at the Drumheller Institution.
Tunnel Vision is our plan to complete building restoration, provide an underground mine experience and visitor service, and move into a position of sustainability. Ultimately, Tunnel Vision empowers us to fulfill our mandate: To preserve and present these nationally designated historic resources that we hold in trust for the people of Canada.
Become a member of the Atlas Coal Mine Historic Society, and be a part of keeping this cultural touchstone alive.
Make a tax-deductible donation to the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society and your gift will go directly into the Tunnel Vision project.
Take a look at who is supporting us already!
A huge thank you to our Stewards of History who have been helping us meet our mandate.
Also thank you to Town of Drumheller, Drumheller Institution, many mine families and local community members for all your support, we couldn’t do it without you.
Volunteering at the Atlas is such fun. You learn lots, have a real opportunity to save Alberta’s history and tell its stories. We like to foster and build people’s strengths and interests. So if dressing up and acting is your thing why not help us out at events. Maybe its old vehicles which get your heart racing or maybe you love telling stories. We’d love to hear from you so complete our application form, you are sure to have a great time.Volunteer Application Form