N51 22.888 W112 39.624
Located a short drive from Drumheller, Wayne is one of several towns that sprang up after Red Deer Coal Company introduced the area’s first coal mine in 1912. The local mine was the Rosedeer Coal Mine. Before long, there were about 2000 miners in town, and Wayne was bigger than Drumheller. In its heyday, Wayne supported a school, hospital, theatre and several stores.
But the coal mines started shutting down in 1932 and by the time the last one closed in 1957, the small towns in the area started declining. Today, the main street of Wayne is barely discernable, with the Rosedeer Hotel / Last Chance Saloon as the sole remaining operating business. The population has declined from a peak of 3000 to just 27 today (although that’s considerably more than the 15 people who called Wayne home in the early 1970s).
Wayne was an isolated town before the road was built. Everything and everybody arrived by railroad. Today, half the fun of a visit to Wayne is getting there; drive just 6 km along highway 10X after turning southwest off highway 10 and you’ll cross 11 bridges spanning the Rosebud River. Ten of the bridges are one lane!
The Rosedeer Hotel is one of the first buildings you see in Wayne. It’s beautifully maintained and looks like something that belongs in a wild west movie. In fact, the moving “Running Brave” was filmed here; the Northern Pikes filmed part of a video here. Numerous other movies, music videos and commercials have been shot at this location, including Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and Jackie Chan’s “Shanghai Noon.”
If you find yourself searching for the Wayne brass cap, be sure to stop in at the Last Chance Saloon to say hi to owners Fred and Alyssa Dayman. The walls are adorned with old photos, antiques, signs and other interesting paraphernalia and they sure do make good honey-garlic wings.
E-mail already sent; thanks for choosing this fine location Brian.