19750119004 | Above-ground workings of Galt Mine No. 3, AB, about 1900
Above-ground workings of Galt Mine No. 3, AB, about 1900
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on paper
17 x 20.8 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
Keys to History
Coal mining moved out of the river valley and onto the prairie when Galt No. 1 Shaft (1888-97) was built. Galt No. 2 Shaft (1889-97) was sunk northeast of Shaft No. 1. Galt Shafts No. 3 (1890-1924) and No. 4 (1893-1924) followed, situated north of Shaft No. 1. Shaft mining introduced a new technique to the Lethbridge coal field.
Shaft mines differed from drift mines in that their entries were dug vertically down to the coal seam, normally about ninety meters deep in the Lethbridge coal field. Again, there was one entry for traffic in and out of the mine, and another for ventilation. From the bottom of the entries, horizontal tunnels were dug along the coal seam. The method of extracting the coal was very similar to that used in the drift mines. However, hoists now moved men and coal up and down the entries, and fans had replaced fires as the means of putting fresh air into the mines.
Since the coal in the Lethbridge field lay in a relatively flat deposit, finding it was easy. The problems in the mines at Lethbridge included a geology of gravel and clay, which meant huge amounts of timber were needed for supports, and water that seeped into the tunnels and rooms.
Aside from Lethbridge, two other villages formed around coal mines in the immediate area. The Village of Stafford developed around Galt Mine No. 3, and Hardieville around Galt Mine No. 6. Both these villages now are part of the City of Lethbridge.
This photograph showing the above-ground workings of Galt Mine No. 3. was taken around 1900.
"Galt Coal," the trademark name of the Galts' product, was used in homes across western Canada and was also shipped to the northwestern United States.