My parents came to Canmore about 1897. My mother came from Ontario and my father was originally from England. I was born in Canmore on October 18, 1899. I have lived here all my life and worked in the mine.
My dad started out in No. 1 Mine and got papers and became a fireboss, then the pitboss and eventually the superintendent of the mine. He was superintendent for twenty-six years.
I went to Grade 10 then started working around the mine. Finally in 1922, I went in the mine. I got my fireboss papers and started firebossing about 1930. I firebossed for about thirty years.
Mining in those days was nothing like it is now. They didn't have machinery for loading coal.The miners had an awful lot of shoveling to do and it was hard work. one daughter. We lived in a house owned by the company on the Horseshoe.The timber in this house came from Bankhead.
I quit the mine in 1958 after thirty-six years in the mine and night watchman for nine years so I worked forty-five years with the company.
In the No. 1 Mine, there were some pretty bad accidents. They lost seven or eight men in an explosion. Another time, they lost three in an explosion. Another time there was a blow out, a gas blowout, and three men lost their lives in that.
There were lots of good days. We had enjoyed ourselves working, especially on idle days when you were working with a group of company men. Also there were an awful lot of days when you wished you were away from there.
As early as 1915, I started going to the Spray Lakes on fishing trips. You either walked or went horseback.We'd go every year, two or three times a year.Today when some of the boys and I talk about those fishing trips, I almost cry just thinking about it.Those were some of the most memorable days of all, outside of working in the mine.