Exploring Alberta’s Ghost Towns: Georgetown

Homes in Georgetown in 1917 – a few years after the closing of the mind.

Georgetown was a coal mining town in the Canmore/Banff region that was born from the remains of the failed Anthracite mine.

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The Creation & Boom of Georgetown

Following the failure of Anthracite, the Canadian Anthracite Coal Company decided to give the Banff area another shot and they rebranded as the Georgetown Coal Company and founded the Georgetown mine in a new coal seam at the base of Mount Rundle. By 1912, they began coal mining and another community formed around the mine. Most of the Anthracite workers ended up working at the competing Bankhead mine, however the Georgetown mine was still able to find workers. Compared to Anthracite, conditions for workers were actually really good – although wages were still low compared to other mines. They had a stocked company store, running water, and electricity. Unlike Bankhead however, there was no indoor toilets or sewage networks. The town was built out to include homes for about 200 people, a community hall, and a post office.

The Downfall of Georgetown

After World War One started in 1914, Georgetown Coal Company began to have financial struggles and by 1915, the mine closed. The miners all moved to either the Crowsnest Pass or Canmore with their belongings.

Present Day Georgetown

Little remains today of Georgetown however you can still find some artifacts and even walls of buildings on the former Georgetown townsite. There are also the waste piles that are common in coal mining towns.

How to Get to Georgetown

Georgetown is accessible VIA cross-country skiing (or hiking) from the Canmore Nordic Center. There is a former railway spur trackbed that extends all the way to the townsite and the government has an interpretive sign once you arrive.

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Research References

Georgetown. (n.d.). http://Www.ghosttownpix.com. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from https://www.ghosttownpix.com/alberta/george.html