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Lethbridge

coal, city, railway, feet and river

LETHBRIDGE, Canada, a city in Alberta, capital of the Medicine Hat District, 700 miles west of Winnipeg and 145 miles southwest of Calgary. It is in lat. 49° 42' N. and long. 112° 51' W., and is 2,990 feet above sea-level. It lies on the Old Man (Belly) River, the valley of which, 320 feet deep and a mile and a half wide, is there crossed by a trestle bridge 307 feet high and 1 mile 47 feet long. Situated in the centre of the part of the province lying south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific, it is the chief distributing point for that dis trict. The original settlement, "Coal Banks," sprang from the discovery by Sir A. T. Galt in 1882 of coal along the river banks and the opening of the Galt mines in 1883. The effort to market the coal by barges failed and in 1885 the °Turkey Trail* (narrow gauge) railway to Dunmore was constructed. The name Leth bridge, after the president of the company operating the mines and railway, was then adopted. The town, incorporated 1890, re mained for 15 years or more a small coal min ing and cattle ranching centre. The great influx of immigration then brought farmers who demonstrated that the land, despite assertion of the ranchers that it was too dry, was excel lent for wheat growing and other agricultural activities. The extensive introduction of irri gation has greatly stimulated farming. Since 1900 its development has been chiefly as a wholesale and distributing centre to the sur rounding farming country. Over 30,000,000 bushels of the 1915 grain crop passed through the Lethbridge Railway yards. But coal mining remains an important factor, the output of the immediate district being 3,000 tons daily. In

1906 Lethbridge was incorporated as a city. In 1913 it secured a unique charter from the pro vincial government, establishing the commission form of government. The city is governed by three commissioners, the mayor who is com missioner of finance and public safety, and the commissioner of public works and the com missioner of public utilities. An election for one of these (by proportional representation) is held every year, and each retains office for three years. The charter also provides for a system of initiative, referendum and recall whereby, upon a petition of a fixed percentage of the electors, an election is held to decide upon a new by-law or the recall of any of the commissioners. The city is supplied by a private company with gas from Bow Island, but the waterworks system, the electric-light and power systems and the street railway are owned and operated by the municipality. The city also owns and operates its own coal mine from which it draws all fuel required at its power plant and for heating municipal buildings. The water is taken from the river and a mechanical filtrationlant has been installed. The sewage, first purified in a sewage disposal plant, is emp tied into the river lower down. The streets are wide and have been well planted with trees. The buildings in the business section, which overlook Galt park. are of reinforced con crete and brick. The private residences are mostly of wood construction. There are three parks, one of which has an artificial lake of 91 acres. Pop. 9,436.