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John and Marie Gusella

Taken from "Our Treasured Heritage-
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 356 -357

John Gusella migrated from Germany to North America in 1910. He worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania and Montana for a short time, wages at that time were $2.50 per day. He then came to Alberta and arrived at Coalhurst when a Montreal firm was opening a coal mine that operated under the name of North American Collieries. The shaft to the coal seam under the prairies was just under 600 feet deep and about 20 ft. by 20 ft. in size. The crew worked day and night for about a year and wages then were $4.00 for eight hours of hard manual labour. He continued working for this firm as a coal miner until the year 1933. There was never year round employment as the plant usually closed down during the summer months. In the spring of 1933 he and his wife Marie and two sons moved to a section of raw bush land they had purchased from the C.P.R. located west of Rimbey and they lived there untiI 1939. At that time they moved to Carstairs to live with their son who had preceded them in 1937. John passed away while in a Senior Citizens Nursing Home in Didsbury in 1976 at age ninety-three. His wife Marie passed away in a Nursing Home located in Linden (near Three Hills) in 1982 and she reached the age of ninety-nine and three months. They are both buried in the cemetery at Crossfield, a town just south of Carstairs.
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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup