Mine No. 0317 was the first registered coal mine in the Drumheller Valley. It was first registered by Garnet Napier Coyle in 1911, but by the end of the year he had sold his Hardware store in Acme and went into a partnership with Jesse Gouge who owned a machinery store. With another $10,000.00 borrowed from his mother in Montreal plus the $4500.00 from his store he and Jesse Gouge formed a company called Newcastle Coal Company Limited which was simply called the Newcastle Mine.
The first lease was located at: Lsd N.E. 1/4, Sec 4, Tp 29, Range 20 west of the fourth Meridian. In subsequent years additional leases were obtained bringing their holdings to close to 520 acres.
In 1922 the authorized capital of the Mine was $250,000.00 with D. A. Macauly as the mine manager. The system of mining at that time was "Room and Pillar" with electrically operated coal cutting machines. That year the capacity was over 255,000 tonnes.
Garnet Napier (G.N.) Coyle seemed to have the Midas Touch as whatever venture he went into he soon doubled or tripled his money back. His other interests were shares in the Midland Mine, the Newcastle Collieries and the A.B.C. with the latter two still associated with Jesse Gouge. G. N. also owned an interest in Jim Beatty's farm and also at one time owned the Regent and Napier Theatres. G. N. Coyle died in Quebec, May 30, 2020 and was predeceased by his life long partner, Jesse Gouge on March 25, 1953. Both men are remembered by their long mining participation in the Valley as well as their social endeavors in the community.
This article is extracted from Ernest
Hlady, The Valley of the Dinosaurs : Its Families and Coal
Mines (East Coulee, Alberta, East Coulee Community
Association, 1988). The Heritage Community Foundation and the
Year of the Coal Miner Consortium would like to thank Ernest
Hlady and the East Coulee Community Association for permission
to reprint this material.