CLIMATE: Mild summer,cold winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer
REMAINS: A few current residents.
Brule is the story of another coal mining town that no longer exists but
still does. The town was established in 1912 to furnish coal for the
Canadian Northern Railway. When the First World War broke out in 1914,
Brule found itself in the midst of a genuine boom. At its peak in the
mid 1920s it boasted a population of 500, its residents able to entertain
themselves at a theater, a golf course, and even a racetrack. And then—almost
as suddenly as it began—it was all over and Brule faced disaster.
The seam of high-grade steam coal played out and there was no alternative
but to shut the whole operation down. The end came in 1928. Miners and
their families began leaving to look for work in other mining communities.
Brule was completely deserted by 1932. Left standing was a ghost town
of some 100 buildings. The town was taken apart building by building,
board by board and the lumber hauled some 200 miles to the city of Edmonton
where a whole block of cottage-type houses were constructed and still
exist today. A few cottages were left at Brule from which, like the Phoenix
of Greek mythology, a new Brule has sprung up from its ashes. A few people
now inhabit the once deserted ghost town and that is just fine with its
residents who like its slow moving and peaceful atmosphere.