Profile: Tilly Herman grew up in East Coulee in the 1940s where her dad was a fire boss in the mines. She married a miner and later moved to Drumheller. Her interview describes both the challenges faced by miners’ wives and children. Their lives were a combination of the hard work in homes without modern conveniences in poor, remote communities and joy in participating in community entertainments that the miners’ wives mostly organized. As a child she rarely saw her father who worked the evening shift in the mine. She helped her mother with the house work, including hauling water for about a quarter of a mile to their home. Tilly Herman’s childhood memories include two boys being killed when a cable malfunctioned in a mine shaft, as well as the hardships experienced by families during a prolonged strike.
Keywords: Drumheller; East Coulee; Immigrants in mining communities; Miners’ wives; Mining accidents; Mining community entertainments; Mining strikes.
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