Atlas cel­e­brates cen­ten­nial Sun­day

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Atlas Coal Mine Na­tional His­toric Site is mark­ing a cou­ple of ma­jor mile­stones in its his­tory this week­end, cel­e­brat­ing the cen­ten­nial of the Atlas Coal Mine, and the 80th birth­day of its iconic tip­ple.

The Atlas will be mark­ing the day this Sun­day, May 21. The day will have all kinds of ac­tiv­i­ties, games, “Mine Crafts,” a birth­day cake and more.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Atlas, Sarah New­stead, is look­ing for­ward to hav­ing some ponies on site for the cel­e­bra­tion.

“The main high­light for me, be­cause I’m a horse per­son, and of course for Bob Mof­fat who was a pony driver, is we have pit ponies com­ing,” said New­stead. ‘ We wagon rides.”

New­stead ex­plains while the Atlas has been around for a cen­tury, it was not al­ways in the same place.

“The Atlas has sev­eral dif­fer­ent mines in the val­ley and the first Atlas was founded on March 7, 1917,” she said. “We are also cel­e­brat­ing the 80th an­niver­sary of our tip­ple. This is what make us na­tion­ally im­por­tant, and in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant.”

She says the fact the tip­ple has sur­vived for 80 years is amaz­ing.

“I have done a lot of vis­it­ing and in­ter­ac­tion with min­ing sites and other in­dus­trial sites in the UK, and the scale of the site here is com­pa­ra­ble to the scale of sites in the UK and other parts of North Amer­ica. What we have here is some­thing spe­cial, wooden struc­tures are not pre­served very of­ten, it is rare to have a struc­ture like this pre­served be­cause struc­tures like this are seen as tem­po­rary. For it to be in one place for 80 years and still avail­able for the pub­lic to view is quite sig­nif­i­cant.”

She said in the next few years she hopes to do more re­search to un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cance of the tip­ple in an in­ter­na­tional con­text.

This year will also mark the fi­nal phase of the planned restora­tion of the tip­ple. This will en­tail work on the roof deck and con­ser­va­tion work

“Peo­ple will be able to see some of the new restora­tion we have on the site,” said New­stead.

The cel­e­bra­tion kicks off at 1 p.m. will be do­ing

This Sun­day the Atlas Coal Mine is mark­ing its cen­ten­nial and the 80th an­niver­sary of its iconic tip­ple.

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