On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 82 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the summit of Turtle Mountain and buried a portion of the sleeping town of Frank.
The bustling town of Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903. Of these, roughly 100 individuals lived in the path of the slide. An estimated 90 people were killed.
The primary cause of the Frank Slide was the mountain's unstable structure. Underground coal mining, water action in summit cracks and severe weather conditions may have contributed to the disaster.
The buried section of railway was rebuilt three weeks after the slide. A road was completed through the slide in 1906 and improved during the 1920s. Before it was completed, people had to travel over a rough road built beyond the rockslide debris.
Broken building display at the Frank Slide Interpretive CentreVisitors to the Crowsnest Pass can explore ruins of the original coal mining industry, once the lifeblood of the valley, and discover the stories of the Frank Slide, the Hillcrest Mine Disaster (Canada’s worst mine disaster) and other historic events. Mining ruins, historic sites, a rugged mountain landscape and many winter and summer recreational opportunities make a visit to the Crowsnest Pass an unforgettable experience.
The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre reopened in August, 2008 with completely new exhibits and displays. Enjoy audio-visual and theatre shows as well as computer interactives that present the story of the rockslide at Frank. Take a stroll down the walking trails and be amazed at the panoramic view of the rockslide from the summit of Turtle Mountain to the other side of the valley.