The Hillcrest Cemetery is located at the north end (west access road) of the community of Hillcrest, at the east end of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
On Friday June 19, 1914 a pocket of methane gas in the Hillcrest Mine ignited, which set off a larger coal-dust explosion. The Hillcrest Mine Disaster was the worst coal mining accident in Canadian history and at the time the world’s third worst mine disaster. Most of the 189 men killed in the explosion were buried in a mass grave at the Hillcrest Cemetery.
In 2000 the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Millennium Memorial was erected in front of the cemetery to commemorate the victims of coal mining disasters across Canada. This memorial features individual monuments cut from stones native to each province and territory arranged around a central monolith.
The Hillcrest Cemetery is an important part of the history of Hillcrest and is identified on the Heritage Driving Tour map. The cemetery includes a short, informative interpretive walk (suitable for visitors with limited mobility), and there is an adjacent picnic area.
In June 2014 an event was organized for the 100th anniversary remembrance of Canada’s worst mine disaster. See the Hillcrest 100 external website for details.