Start at the
Grande Cache Tourism and Interpretive Centre and pick up the "One Day Driving
Tour” brochure. There is also an excellent historical display in the Centre,
featuring pre-contact Aboriginal exhibits, fur trade information, local
industry, natural history and more. You might even want to stretch your legs on
the Birds Eye View Interpretive Trail, located at the Centre.
1. MINE PREP PLANT– ATCO ELECTRIC PLANT
McIntyre Porcupine Mines started the mine in 1969. People had known about the high quality metallurgical coal for years, but it was not until 1969 that a road and a railroad were constructed, so that the coal could be exploited.
2. THE SULPHUR GATES
The Sulphur Gates are part of a geological formation known as the Cadomin Formation. This formation is important to geologists because it indicates the presence of coal.
3. GRANDE CACHE TOWNSITE
Grande Cache got its name from a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trader named Ignace Giasson who cached a large supply of fur in the area during one of the winters between 1818 and 1821.
4. VICTOR LAKE
The old airstrip was used by Forestry for years to fight fires in the region before there was a road. It was also used by McIntyre Mines when they were exploring for the mine site in the late 1960’s and by the town until an airport (now closed) was constructed.
5. GRANDE CACHE LAKE
This is the site of an ancient Aboriginal camp. In the 1960’s, there was extensive archaeological work done on the site. The Aboriginal people have inhabited the local area for about 10,000 years. Many artifacts were found on the site.
6. SUSA CREEK
The log church was built in the 1960’s. It is now used for storage as the community outgrew it. The white frame church was built to serve the Muskeg Co-op in 1958 and moved to Susa Creek in 1975.
7.MUSKEG RIVER GRAVEYARD
This tiny graveyard is there because at one time there was a small community there. It was also a popular stopping spot for the local Aboriginal people going between the communities of Susa Creek and Muskeg.
8.THE PIERRE GREY TRADING POST
Pierre Grey, whose real name was Pierre Gris, was a Metis from Isle Lake, who ran a fur trade post at this site in the 1880’s. He did very well here, as he was married to a Delorme from the area, so the people trusted him and traded with him.
It’s not know exactly when the Muskeg trading post was first built, but Rueben Kilba was running it in 1956. It went through a number of owners before being closed down in the late 1970’s. Eventually the buildings were torn down.