Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies and situated at the crossroads of Highways 7 and 22 is the quaint little town of Black Diamond — a community with a storied history on display for all to see and experience.
Black Diamond takes its name from coal discovered in the area in the late 1800s by government land surveyor James A. McMillan. The original mine site is still visible to the west of the highway approaching the Black Diamond bridge.
Ranchers settled in the area in the 1880s. Pioneers, miners and ranchers continued moving into the area and in 1907 the town began to take on the appearance it maintains today.
The discovery of oil and gas in the neighbouring town of Turner Valley sparked a population boom. By 1929, more than 1,000 people called Black Diamond home.
The period from 1914 to 1947 was called the ‘Boomtown Era’ as the oilfields formed the heart of Alberta’s growing oil industry.
Today, Black Diamond is a growing community with many services and attractions including schools, a hospital, a campground, walking trails, playgrounds, a community garden and recreation facilities. Black Diamond is also part of the Cowboy Trial, a 700-kilometre route along Highway 22.
Caption: Black Diamond’s downtown boasts the ‘boomtown’ look from the early part of the 20th century.