Frank Slide in Frank, Alberta

I drove through Frank Slide on every trip from Seattle to Magrath and I always meant to stop and read the interpretive signage and find out what it was about but never did. This past weekend adventures in Crowsnest Pass was the perfect opportunity to stop and find out what this was about.

Here are the basic facts you need to know:

  • April 30, 1903 4:10 am, the town of Frank is awoken by a thunderous sound, the mountain was collapsing
  • Of Frank’s 600 resident, 90 were killed
  • Surprisingly, all but three midnight mine workers survived. They had to dig themselves out.
  • One train worker had to run a mile and a half over the rock in the dark to flag down an oncoming passenger train

Ben among the rubble

Ben and I went to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre to learn more about this disaster. Now, if you want to get your $10 worth from the centre, see the film last. It is an amazing film with re-enactment, photos and testimonies from residents. It is an interesting film and very educational. The problem is, most of the displays repeat the information told in the movie. Even the interactive testimonies are sound clips straight from the movie. So we made it through half the centre before we were bored and ready to leave. That is kind of a bummer.

Natives called this “the mountain that moves” and never camped under it.

But a visit to the Frank Slide Centre is a must. It’s fun, interactive, has a kids section and is an interesting piece of history. Just see the movie last!

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