Drumheller, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1998, population 8029 (2011c), 7932 (2006c). The Town of Drumheller is located on the Red Deer River in southern Alberta, 138 km northeast of Calgary. The Red Deer River valley is internationally known for the abundance of fossils, particularly of dinosaurs.


Shortly after ranchers first settled there (1897), the townsite was bought by Colonel Samuel Drumheller (1910). He started coal mining operations (at sites around the townsite) in 1911, and the first post office was named after him. The railway arrived in 1912, and in quick succession Drumheller became a village (1913) and a town (1916).

Drumheller was incorporated as a city in 1930 and boomed until after World War II when coal lost its importance as an energy source. In 1998, Drumheller amalgamated with the Municipal District of Badlands and was reverted back to town status.

Present Day

Today, coal mining has all but disappeared, replaced by natural gas and oil exploration and development. The town is the service centre for the primarily agriculturally based local economy. A federal penitentiary and a regional health complex also provide employment. Tourists are attracted to Drumheller by the striking landscape of the badlands along the Red Deer River, the Drumheller Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, the Homestead Antique Museum and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. The museum exhibits include more than 200 dinosaur skeletons (the largest display of complete dinosaur skeletons in the world) and the skulls and parts of many other animals