Black Diamond - Our History
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
A mine of this size required workers, who relocated to the area along with ranchers looking for a place to call home. This population influx necessitated a store and a post office, which were established by Herb Arnold around 1907. These buildings were located at the intersection of Centre Avenue and Government Road (Highway 22), forming the core of what is now Black Diamond's main street.
This growing community had yet to be named at this point and there was some dispute as to whether it should be called Black Diamond after the nearby coalmine that referred to the high grade coal as a "black diamond", or Arnoldville after the local postmaster, Arnold. The dispute was settled when Black Diamond was drawn from a hat in 1907.
BLACK DIAMOND'S GIANT ICON
GAS AND OIL BOOM
From 1914 to 1947, the derrick-studded landscape west of town was the heart of Alberta's petroleum industry. The local demand for construction was met by building around the clock in the light of the flares, the glow of which could be seen from Calgary. By the mid-1940's, activity in the petroleum industry had shifted north to Leduc. Black Diamond survived the change, but many businesses and families in the area moved elsewhere and neighboring settlements like Little Chicago, Naphtha and others vanished from the landscape.
THE FIRE OF 1949
BLACK DIAMOND TODAY
We've also returned to our roots by re-creating the Boomtown spirit with our historical downtown area. We're proud of our history and are preserving it with a joint project by the town, business and Alberta Main Street Program. Our business owners and residents take great pride in protecting these heritage buildings for the years to come, adding prosperity with great shopping and dining as well as a vibrant arts community. Local artisans, businesses, organizations and our municipal office work together to host, sponsor and participate in an assortment of events throughout the year that celebrate our unique community. We're a cool little town and we're proud of it