Discovering Drumheller, Alberta: A Town Steeped in History and Natural Beauty
The Historical Roots of Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller, a town nestled in the badlands of east-central Alberta, Canada, is situated on the Red Deer River. It lies 110 kilometres northeast of Calgary and 97 kilometres south of Stettler. The Drumheller portion of the Red Deer River valley, often referred to as Dinosaur Valley, spans approximately 2 kilometres in width and 28 kilometres in length.
The town was named after Samuel Drumheller, who purchased the homestead of Thomas Patrick Greentree and had it surveyed into the original Drumheller townsite in 1911. That same year, Drumheller initiated coal mining operations near the townsite. The town was incorporated as a village in 1913, a town in 1916, and a city in 1930. Over a 15-year period, Drumheller's population surged 857% from 312 in 1916 to 2,987 in 1931.
The Evolution of Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller thrived until the end of the Second World War when coal lost most of its value. On January 1, 1998, the City of Drumheller amalgamated with the Municipal District of Badlands No. 7 to form the current Town of Drumheller. The amalgamation was driven by shared planning and development issues due to their locations within the Red Deer River valley. As a result, Drumheller became Alberta's largest town in terms of land area at 107.93 square kilometres. The town has absorbed at least 13 other communities in its history, some of which are now recognized as neighbourhoods or districts within the town.
The Climate of Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller experiences a semi-arid climate with very cold winters and hot summers. The highest temperature ever recorded in Drumheller was 40.6 °C on July 18, 1941, and the coldest was −43.9 °C on January 29, 1996.
The Demographics of Drumheller, Alberta
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Drumheller had a population of 7,909 living in 3,198 of its 3,557 total private dwellings, a slight decrease from its 2016 population of 7,982.
Exploring the Attractions of Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller is home to the World's Largest Dinosaur, a 26.2-metre high fiberglass Tyrannosaurus rex. Other attractions include the Star Mine Suspension Bridge, Atlas Coal Mine, Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Horseshoe Canyon, Rotary Spray Park, Aquaplex, Horse Thief Canyon, hoodoos, Midland Provincial Park, the Rosedeer Hotel in Wayne, 27 kilometres of constructed pathways, Bleriot Ferry, East Coulee School Museum, the Homestead Museum and the Little Church.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta
The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, located in the northwest quadrant of the Town of Drumheller, in Midland Provincial Park, hosts Canada's largest collection of dinosaur fossils. It attracts 375,000 visitors a year, making it the most visited of all provincial museum attractions. The museum opened its doors on September 25, 1985.
Transportation in Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller is served by the Drumheller/Ostergard's Airport and Drumheller Municipal Airport, although neither offer regular passenger flights. Passenger rail service ran from 1912 up until 1981, with freight continuing on the through lines up until 2014. The railway was decommissioned and demolished in 2014.