Country Harbour Mines

Nova Scotia's capital could have been where?!

There are three past-producing gold mines in Country Harbour Mines, Guysborough County.
The Country Harbour Gold District is the largest of the three. The deposit was discovered in 1861 but most mining took place from 1890-1911. A total of 10,219 ounces of gold was produced.

The Narrows Gold Mine was a small-scale mine along the east bank of Country Harbour River.
The Widow Point Gold Mine is along the south flank of the Country Harbour River valley. The year that gold was discovered there is not known and the only mining took place between 1944 and 1949.

Although these three sites are considered separate gold deposits, in all likelihood they were originally part of a single deposit that was subsequently severed and shifted by geological forces.

The deposit formed about 400 million years ago as North America and North Africa collided. A fault split the deposit sometime during the Carboniferous Period (300-360 million years ago) and shifted Country Harbour Gold District to the left. Mineral deposits are sometimes split by faults but it’s rare for one to actually be torn apart like the Country Harbour deposit.

In geology, a fault is where tectonic plates meet. Today, the Country Harbour River valley marks where the Country Harbour fault is because the collision of tectonic plates softens and breaks rock. This often results in valleys and low-lying areas that become rivers. Other Nova Scotia rivers, including the Lahave, Sheet Harbour, Roseway and St. Mary’s, follow faults caused by tectonic plate movement.

In the 1700s, the British reportedly considered establishing Nova Scotia’s capital at Country Harbour because of its deep, natural harbour and because it is about 100 kilometres closer to England than the site they eventually chose – Halifax.