Gold in Clayton Park?!

There were reportedly several small-scale gold mines on Geizer Hill starting at the end of the 1800s.

Geizer Hill, just the other side of highway 102 from Bayer’s Lake, was forested back then. An article in the February 1898 edition of Canadian Mining Reviews even described it as being “about three miles from Halifax,” a reminder of how much Halifax has grown over the past century.

According to the article, “a trial run of one ton [of ore] gave six penny weights, eight grains." One penny weight is 1.5 grams so this test of the ore produced about 9 grams of gold, or a 1/3 of an ounce. That was a decent but not spectacular amount since successful gold mines in that era often produced 1-2 ounces per ton of ore.

According to a January 18, 1898 story in the Mail Star newspaper, Alexander Taylor claimed to have found gold-bearing quartz all over his land on Geizer Hill and that he had hundreds of tons of quartz ready for the crusher.

A January 25, 1899 story in the Mail Star said there were many prospectors on Geizer Hill and some had found gold. Some were excavating near a Mr. MacDonald’s house and they reportedly found gold-bearing quartz.

According to the Fairview historical Society, in the 1930s Hubert Smart said prospectors dug holes all over the Rufus Avenue vicinity in a search for gold. He said he worked there himself, blasting and drilling.

Much of Geizer Hill is developed today but there is still a forested area and a trail between Washmill Lake Drive and Greenpark Close.

In the modern era, gold mining returned to Halifax - well, Halifax Regional Municipality - when the Moose River gold mine opened in 2017. It employs 300 people and is providing an essential material we all use every day (it's in the device you're using now!)

The Fairview Historical Society has more details on gold mining in Clayton Park and Fairview at