Thursday, 17 January 2008

Coleman Tipple Yard

Since 1968 the big green "tipple" has been the dominating feature of downtown Coleman's main street and skyline. For close to 20 years it was the generator of Coleman's and Crowsnest Pass's wealth. For the past twenty years, however, its only role has been to stand silently watching as Main Street Coleman slipped into depression.

No longer serving the role for which it was created the tipple's decline paralleled that of main street. The bright green facade faded. Parts no longer protected from the elements began to rust. Pieces fell or were blown off the structure. Yet still it stands, an inescapable remnant of more prosperous times, an icon of Coleman's past glory.

Many Crowsnest Pass residents look at the once critical component of our economy with disdain. Seeing it as an eyesore, a hazard, an ugly reminder of a black dirty past. Many others look at it as an important component of our mining heritage, a significant piece of our skyline, hope for the future. Their hope was to use the tipple and mine yard once again, this time as an attraction, as the generator to rivitalize the economy of Main Street Coleman. These polarized groups of people have a couple of things in common. They want prosperity for Crowsnest Pass and would love to see Main Street Coleman rejuvenated.

Good news. We all know Luscar has sold the property. The new owner has been meeting with the group working to protect the property and together they have come up with a solution to preserve some of the unique mine buildings on the property. No, the tipple won't be saved from demolition. It would require more capital outlay than anyone can afford to put up. With that, though, this property will retain some of its historic significance and new development on the site will generate the wealth needed to revitalize historic downtown Coleman. Crowsnest Pass and the people that love it win. Good work everyone and goodluck to Mark Kerwin in getting this property developed.

THE TIPPLE (Coleman Collieries preparation plant)The washouse, power house, and machine shop. Plus other buildings...some of this will be protected and restored.


  1. Thanks for the news and photos of Coleman. Any idea when the development will start?

  2. Hi Michelle. The development can not start unitil Luscar has cleaned the property to residential standards. That work will likely be starting this spring. Luscar has submitted their clean up plan to the energy and utilities board.

  3. Thanks Gary. I'm not in the Pass area, but I do love it. I'm hoping to get down there in April. I'm a bit of a coal mining history geek too, and doing some research, so this is very helpful news. Thanks again and I'll keeping checking your blog!