Neal Cove

Limestone from the shore of Mira Bay was used in the construction of Fortress Louisbourg.

According to a 1934 report published by the federal Department of Mines, “On the shore of Neil [aka Neal] Cove on the south side of Mira Bay is a very small limestone deposit which, so it is claimed by residents of the locality, was utilized by the French to make lime for the building of Louisburg.”

Lime is an ingredient in cement and mortar. The report suggested that Neal Cove’s limestone was used in those materials to help bind brick and/or stone together in the construction of the fort. The fortress was built between 1719 and 1745.

Lime is produced by crushing limestone down to powder and calcining it. (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.)

Nova Scotia has had many limestone quarries to make lime, for both cement/mortar and agricultural purposes (lime is spread on farm fields to improve soil quality). The province has also had quarries that produced limestone for use as flux in steelmaking. (See the stories of other Nova Scotia limestone quarries at