Hiawatha Coal Mine

Hiawatha Road in Waddens Cove, Cape Breton, is named for the Hiawatha Coal Mine.

The Hiawatha coal company ran the mine for a mere six months, from July 1920 to January 1921, despite having invested a significant amount on surface buildings and a short railway to transport coal to the shore. The closed mine was allowed to fill with water and its machinery was sold and removed from the site.

Total production in that period was 5000 tons of coal.

The area was first mined in 1864 by the Mira Bay Coal Company at the north end of False Bay Beach where the Tracey Seam outcrops. That mine was also relatively short-lived: it closed in 1866 after extracting 2391 tons of coal. Despite a report that the coal burned “with a bright flame and makes a pleasant fire,” it was concluded that the quality of the coal was not as good as anticipated.

The mine’s bad luck continued when, in 1967, the Wadden Cove Coal Company re-opened it but abandoned the operation in the same year.

Hiawatha Road is just past the Homeville Bridge off the South Head Road.