Historic Photos of Mountain Park, Alberta

The town of Mountain Park was founded in 1911 with the creation of the Mountain Park Coal Company. The town was built at an elevation of 1890 metres (6200 feet), making it the highest permanently inhabited community in all of Canada. At the height of its popularity, Mountain Park was home to about 1500 residents.

Mountain Park
191-? – taken from mountain top. Roof in foreground is snowshed for mine.

A series of mining towns scattered along the Central Rockies’ eastern slopes were collectively known as the Alberta Coal Branch. Mountain Park was the first of these towns to be erected along the Coal Branch’s western line, it was also the first town to fall during the coal depression in a post-World War II world.

Mountain Park
1910-1939 – Skating rink

Situated in remote wilderness, feelings of isolation and loneliness were common. The town was able to keep spirits high with community gatherings, sporting events and other popular activities. Today, there is nothing left other than the cemetery, which also happens to be the highest cemetery in North America. I hope you enjoy this collection of historical photos depicting the once bustling community of Mountain Park in Alberta’s central Rocky Mountains.

Mountain Park
1910-1950 – Snowfall
Mountain Park
192-? – Old tipple
Mountain Park
192-? – Sack race, Sports Day
Mountain Park
192-? – Mountain Park, Alberta.
Mountain Park
192-? – View, Alberta.
Mountain park
1920 – The town 
Mountain Park
1920-1940 – Football game. Spectators can be seen sitting on the hills behind the field.
Mountain Park
1930 – Uncle Noble with “mail team”. Hotel and annex in background.
Mountain Park
1934 – Cheviot Hotel burning 
194-? – Schoolhouse 
194-? – Mountain Park Mountain, Alberta.
194-? – Mountain Park, Alberta.
194-? – Mountain Park falling apart.
194-? – Winter
1943 – “Carmen on Ice Carnival” skaters. Left to right, front to back – Frank Lovsin, Tom Black, Dennis Leonard, Isadore Barussini, Covey Fleck, Mary Black, Mickey Demich, Mary Saver, Mary Waritsky, Roza Pavich, Viola Chiesa, Unknown, Illa Oslund, Irene Saver, Alice Resek, Unknown, Unknown, Rae Gray, Gloria Liviero, Unknown, Unknown, Mae Phipps, Unknown, Unknown, Stella Tararsky, Edith Talbot, Elsie Fedunic, Unknown. Winter Carnival.
1943 – The Chevoit Hotel is on the left, the school on the right in the center of the picture.
1943 – First coal mined in 1912. New tipple & cleaning plant opened 1938. Underground mining ceased in 1949 & strip mining in 1950.
1943 – Mile 32.
1943 – Photo shows school and school annex.
1948-1949 – Mountain Park, Alberta.
1950 – Summer 1950. Chas Lee house dismantled and moved to Mercoal.
2003 – Allen Gilchuk’s grandfather’s grave in the cemetery.

For other posts featuring Alberta ghost towns please see these previous stories: Historical Photos from the Town of Bankhead and Historic Photos from Silver City.

2003 – Sign of “Mountain Park Staging Area”, Alberta.

The photos above were collected from Archives Canada. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on theie website. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta and Western Canada. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.


About Tyler Dixon 219 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.