Churchview Dolomite

An historical quarry in Whycocomagh provided dolomite for the manufacture of paint in the 1920s.

The Churchview dolomite quarry was two miles northwest of Whycocomagh near Bridgend Brook, on the slopes of the Creignish Hills. A 1934 federal government report called “Limestones of Canada” said the site was “approximately 230 feet west of the H. D. MacRae farm road.”

The dolomite was mostly white with intermittent shades of blue and red.

After extraction, the stone was taken to Orangedale, nine miles from the quarry, and shipped from there to Halifax.

According to the 1934 report, the dolomite was pulverized and used as a “whiting substitute” by Brandram-Henderson, a paint manufacturer in Halifax. Whiting powder is used as a filler pigment to increase the coverage of paints, coating and whitewash.

Whiting is mostly crushed calcium carbonate, usually derived from limestone, chalk or marble. Dolomite was an acceptable substitute because it also contains a high percentage of calcium carbonate. Dolomite is metamorphosed limestone, meaning it starts as limestone but is turned into different rock as a result of being chemically modified by magnesium-rich groundwater.

About 2,500 tons of dolomite were extracted by Brandram-Henderson.

The former quarry is difficult to find now because it is overgrown. Also, the original road to it no longer exists because there are several modern quarries and pits, and their access roads, in the area.

Brandram-Henderson played a significant role in Nova Scotia’s mining industry around the turn of the previous century. Several of Nova Scotia’s early barite mines were operated by Henderson and Potts, which was founded by Joseph R. Henderson and C. H. Potts in 1875 at Five Islands to be near ship building activity. In 1879, the company moved to Halifax and began producing paints, varnishes and enamels. In 1888, the plant was destroyed by fire. In 1889, a larger plant was built at Young and Kempt Streets that was still operating in 1969.

In 1906, Henderson and Potts amalgamated with Brandram Bros. and Co. of London, England to become Brandram-Henderson. The company later expanded west and founded factories in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Nova Scotia’s first barite mine, and likely the first in Canada, provided barite, a pigment used in paint, to Henderson and Potts. See the Eureka mine’s story at

See the story of Cape Breton’s Scotch Lake Dolomite Quarry at