The town was first settled about 1820 by LOYALISTS. Coal was soon discovered and a small mine opened in 1834. Mining began on a large scale in 1872 when the Springhill and Parrsboro Coal and Railway Co Ltd sank shafts and opened a rail line. Several mining DISASTERS have plagued the town, the worst occurring in 1958 when 74 men died in the deepest mine in North America. After this, the DOSCO-owned mines were shut down. Small coal seams have been mined only intermittently since then.
There is high unemployment and little secondary industry here. The Springhill Miners Museum, opened in 1972, and the Springhill Medium Security Institution (1960) provide some employment for residents.
Author HEATHER MACDONALD
Links to Other Sites
Watch the Heritage Minute about Maurice Ruddick, survivor of the tragic Springhill mine disaster. From the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related online learning resources.
Men in the Mines
Brief historical accounts of mining calamities that occured in Nova Scotia, 1720-1992. Also check out the extensive collection of mining related artifacts. From the Province of Nova Scotia.
Anne Murray Centre
The website for the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia. Check out the latest events and browse the online tour of exhibits devoted to the life and music of Canada's songbird, Anne Murray.
The Springhill Mine Disaster of 1958: Final Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry
Read the entire Final Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Springhill Mine disaster of 1958. Also, check out the additional online resources about coal mining in Nova Scotia. From the website History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia.
N.S. town marks 1958 mining disaster that killed 75 men
A news story about the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Springhill Mine disaster. From canada.com.
Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce
The website for the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce (APCC), formerly the Maritime Board of Trade. Formed in 1896, this organization promotes and supports business and economic development in Atlantic Canada. Click on "Chambers" for links to local Chambers of Commerce.
Nova Scotia: Community Profiles
Search for statistical profiles of communities in the Province of Nova Scotia.