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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 73

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 13, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 20 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thurldoy, April 13, 1972 niairmorc Is located in the southwestern corner of Alherta in the Crows nest Pass, along Highway iVo. and mi the Ca- nadian Pacific Railway line running from Lclhbrklgc to Forme, B.C. The mountainous terrain in which P.lairmoi'e is located is greatly [nulled and folded tco.tonic niorciuciiLs and older formations exposed by faulting. Two of the older formations, the Blair more and the Koo- tenay ranges form bed rock nl Blnintiore. Both are forma- tions of the Lower Crctacinus Age. The Kootenay formation is a rich coal bearing strata that supplies Blairmore and its neighboring towns with their widely-known coal industries. Soils in Blairmore and dis- trict arc of the most fertile known iti Alberta, and it is es- timated lhat these surface soils contain three to four times as much nitrogen and organic matter as can he found any- where in average brown or grey wooded soils. The vegeta- tion consists primarily of par- tially wooded grass lands, Ihe wooded area consisting main- ly of deciduous Irecs. Klairmore's history rales as one of the most interesting in the province, beyinninfi with the westward push of the rail- way through the Crowsncsl Pass. The Canadian Pacific Railway began operations in IDDfl and at thai time had es- tablished the first stopping place in the valley on the site then knnwn ns Tenth Siding, la tor called the Springs and now known as Blair more. Tlie site had been officially named Ulairmorft on NcwenilK-r ifith liiOJl after the Honorable II. fl, Blair, then Minister ol Kail- ways. IIOOM Tn If'll a b'.ulflmg hail in Bl-irniO'.-e. Three lio- Icl.s ami several oVher os- innusiununis were built, but the boom came to a slnndslill. The chnck was caused by a litigation ownership of the Imvnsito. A lev.' years later the litigation had ended, and then once more did Blairmore re- sume its building program. Like most towns Blair more grew up a terrific boom. An optimistic view to the fii- lure was a result of the fabu- lous deposits oE co.ii which hnd Parted the rapid growth and prosperity of I In; town. Official census shows lhat in when Blairmore was first incorporated as a village, the population was 231. Tn 19U when it wfis incorporated as a town the population was Population was then on a steady upward trend. In 1921 it had reached in it stood at and in 1EW1 it had reached a peak of and in its present popula- tion of T h c Crow-siicst Pass was named in journals or explorers as far back as 1057 and was first h'.Ti'ellcd through by a white man Peter Fi tiler in 17.12. The Canadian Pacific Railway survey teams went through the Pass in 1CG2, cnnl deposits being de- veloped there were 10 (owns in tho M miles front Colcman to Bur mis. Five remain today. The Frank slide in 1003 shift- ed conl development from Frank to Blairmore. Through Ihe year.s Blairmorc became well-known for boxing ehi'irrr.hm-hip.s Blairmore Pass Plate (Class :c turf ev- ent of southern Tim Buck K m i I o Pi- caricllo, and the Opera House micrnlcd by "Cap" W. A. Recbu. LIVING CONDITIONS The climate in the area is moderate, but the influence of the hifih altitude ;mtl surround- ing mountains generally make for a short but very pleasant summer with an ex ton clod fall. Frost can be expected anytime bo'ivcon the end of August into March and April. The long is always modified by the Chinook winds which send temperatures up to 10 and degrees in hours and limes minutes. Blairniorc: is recognized as tile commercial, geographic and population centre of the Pass. In recent years Blair- more has seen the expansion of exist i n fj commercial facili- ties, and I lie development of many new businesses. II no longer has a large industry of its own, such as a mine, but has flourished as a residential area and as a trading centre. Sports facilities arc abundant and the education facilities are a source of pride to all tho Pass people. TOWNS C'O.MPKTfi It is difficult to describe liv- ing conditions in one town without including the facilities available in tho ol her towns. The three main Pass towns are located within six miles of ench olher and much sharing as well as competing for facili- ties is common. In most in- stances the recreation facilities arc widely shared though oper- ated by each tcnvn. Tlirco skat- ing arenas and three cur ling rinks, all with artificial ico planls, arc an example of some of winter facilities that, are shared. Ideal liifi game and upland pame hunling as well as fish- hif; is readily available throughout the area. Bcrnling, skiing, swimming, and various other sports are within easy reach. Parks arc located throughout the town with many hiking trails and points of "mlcrcst sur round ins lm; area for the exploring nature lover. Knc.li summer the playgrounds aru staffed offering recreation pro- grams for youngsters. A swim- mi tig poul is expected lo be coti- slnictcd the summer of 1972 and will offer shimming and diving lessons. ADMINISTRATION The town is governed by a mayor and six councillors, elected for a three year term. Tlie town secretary admin- isters the lown affairs in ac- cordance with council policy and the Municipal Acts. The lovm is policed by three members of the Royal Cana- dian Mounted Police from their detachment office in the Fed- eral Building. There is one visiting and one local magis- trate. Natural Gas is supplied to the town under franchise by Canadian Western Natural Gas. Very little coal is used, in town but is available from neighbor- ing mines, ORGANIZATIONS I.ions Club. BPO Elks, Order of tlie Royal Purple, Order of the Eastern Star, IK'becca, Crows Nest Pass Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Cana- dian Legion, Ladies Auxiliary lo the Canadian Legion; Ladies Auxiliary to Iho CLOWS Nest Pass General Hos- pital, the Knights of Columbus, Alcoholics Anonymous, Man- agement Club, Catholic Wom- en's League, Job's Daughters, Circle of Service, AF and AM Lodge, Preventive Social Ser- vice, Family Life Centre; Blair more Business Men's Association, Ulairmorc Arena A s s o c i a lion, ttlairmoro Ski Club, Crow's Nest Pass Golf and Country Club, Barb-Wire Johnnies, Recreation Boar d, Sim Mobile Club, Stock Cnr Club. KDUOATJON1 All of the Pass schools arc ndminislcred by the Crowsnesl P.'ifui School Division No. A new school ui each town pro- vides for Grade 1 to 3. All Grade 0 to 12 classes arc of- fered in the Con- solidated School located cast of Colcnian, This school offers all of the regular courses of ins (ruction and of- fers courses in art, music, home economics, iiuUi.stri.ii arts, merchandising and busi- ness machines as well. A "headstall" class is also offered for pre-schoolers six months per year by the Pre- ventive Social Service Board. There are 331 students and a .staff of 21 at the Isabelle Sellon School and 500 students and a slaff of 33 at the Crows nest Consolidated High School. The Pass has an enviable record in cultural achievement, one of the main ones being lha annual Musical Festival held annually for four days in the spring at Hie Isabclle Sellon School, sponsored by the Blair- more Lions Club. Upwards of 400 entries are received with participants c o m p e ling who arc judged by weti knnwn Canadian adjudicators. Many competitors in the fes- tival are cither members of the Crowsncst Pass Symphony Or- chestra., Crowsnest Pass Band, Crowsnest Pass Choral Society, or members of local church choirs. For those wishing to further their education, night classes and University extension courses from the University of Lclhbrulge arc available. Art classes are also held and the facilities of the recreation of- fices arc available for the for- mation oE any special interest groups. TRADING ARKA Hue to the geography nf tho Pass, the trading area extends mainly east and west. Urilish Columbia shoppers from as far west as Fcrnie, shop here ami trade from the cast conies as far as Luntlbreck- ;