Cumberland County

There were a number of small historical limestone quarries in Cumberland County.

A quarry was operated near Kirkhill, about 2.5 miles northeast of Parrsboro, by Robie Kirkpatrick. The ridge was about 40 feet wide. A 1914 report said the limestone had been traced for about 300 yards and could be obtained in layers up to two feet in thickness (thicker being better for construction purposes). It was black with white calcite veins, which Kirkpatrick believed made it an excellent stone for decorative purposes.

The stone was used for building foundations in Parrsboro and to produce agricultural lime. Limestone is a soil sweetener, meaning it increases pH. It is crushed down to powder, calcined and spread on farm fields to improve soil quality. (Calcining means heating a mineral to the point of changing its mineral structure. It is done as part of the process of manufacturing minerals into products. Calcining limestone removes carbon dioxide and leaves behind lime.)

While Kirkpatrick’s quarry had not been in operation “for many years” at the time of the 1914 report, it was active again in the 1930s. A 1937 government memo says it was producing lime for local farms and had quarried about 570 tons of stone the previous year.

Limestone was also quarried at Dewar's Hill near Pugwash, pictured below, and shipped to Prince Edward Island for use as lime. There were a number of kilns in the area and limestone deposits were apparent on the road southeast from Amherst to Economy, on the Springhill branch railway, and in the vicinity of Pugwash and the Wallace River, according to the report.

A quarry also operated in Nappan around Salem Road, on the property of Fred Shipley (1857-1924). Shipley ran a kiln that could burn three hundred bushels at a time to produce lime.

Limestone was also quarried near Partridge Island and at Clarke Head.

None of the quarries were active at the time of the 1914 report.

The limestone quarry near Pugwash later provided “road metal” in the 1930s. What is road metal?! Find out at

The Pugwash limestone quarry.

The Kirkpatrick quarry is marked in the upper left.