Lamp Cabin Memorial Park

Many of Nova Scotia’s parks contain former mines and quarries, including Springhill’s Lamp Cabin Memorial Park.

The park honours the Cumberland County town’s coal mining heritage and is on the property formerly occupied by the lamp cabin, where miners picked up their lamps before going underground. The lamp cabin building was demolished in 2020 after falling into disrepair.

The park also honours the women of Springhill, who too-often had to hold families together and carry on after disasters in the mines killed husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.

Lamp Cabin Memorial Park includes interpretive signage detailing the history of the site and mining in Springhill, a sign in tribute to the women of Springhill, a brick planter, a walking trail, benches and accessible picnic tables.

Coal mining started in Springhill as early as 1834 when a local man sold coal to blacksmiths. Some small-scale mining took place starting in the late 1850s after the General Mining Association lost its 30-year monopoly on most Nova Scotia minerals and independent operators were able to open mines. Mining in Springhill did not flourish, however, until after 1872, with the arrival of the Intercolonial and Springhill-to-Parrsboro railways, which facilitated the transport of coal to markets by both land and sea.

Springhill went on to have an extraordinary history of coal mining over the next century. The coal mines were a mainstay of the town’s economy and generations of families were supported by them. However, several of the worst disasters in Nova Scotia's mining history also took place in Springhill (

Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry has reduced its injury rate by 90% since the Westray inquiry report was released in 1997, making mining one of the safer industries in the province today. We believe the most important thing to come out of a mine is the miner, and our modern safety record reflects this.

Reclamation - preparing mines and quarries to contribute to communities after extraction is done - is also a key part of the industry today. Before starting to mine, Nova Scotia mining companies must get government approval of reclamation plans and post reclamation bonds (money in escrow, basically) that ensure funds are available to properly take care of sites. This ensures modern mines and quarries are reclaimed at no cost to taxpayers and that the environment is properly taken care of.