At 4:10 a.m. on April 29, 1903, 110 million tonnes of limestone broke loose from the top of Turtle Mountain and came crashing down on the valley below. A portion of the sleeping coal mining town of Frank was destroyed and more than 90 people lost their lives in North America’s deadliest rockslide. Most of the roughly 120 people in the path of the slide died, but twenty-three people in homes along the edge of the slide survived, as did 500 people in the untouched part of Frank. In 1985, the Government of Alberta opened the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre on the crest of a hill overlooking the expanse of rocks. The interpretive centre tells visitors about the Frank Slide and introduces them to the history of the Crowsnest Pass. The area’s powerful stories are told through interactive exhibits, interpretive programs, education programs and special events.
The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre has interactive exhibits that lead visitors on a journey back to the day the slide came down. Survivor stories describe the town of Frank and its people, and what affect the slide had on their lives. Find out why Turtle Mountain fell and what other dramatic events have happened – the three deadliest disasters in the history of Alberta unfolded in the shadow of Turtle Mountain. Master storytellers enhance the visitors' experience through one-on-one contact and a variety of programs. The Centre's 70-seat theatre shows On the Edge of Destruction – the Frank Slide Story, an award-winning high definition docu-drama recreating the events of the slide, and In the Mountain's Shadow, a lively presentation remembering the days of coal mining in the Crowsnest Pass. The Centre serves as both a history and science centre, and provides Travel Alberta Visitor Information Services and a thorough orientation to the Crowsnest Pass. A 1.5 kilometre trail leads visitors out into the rocks of the slide to experience the raw power of nature up close and personal. Admission is charged to view the exhibits and shows in the Centre.