Spryfield Quarries

There were several historical quarries in the Spryfield area that helped build Halifax.

The Cline Quarry in Cowie Hill is now part of Long Lake Provincial Park. The quarry was west of the Dunbrack-Spryfield extension, 200 metres northeast of the southeastern corner of Witherod Lake, near a power line, and was part of a 300-acre property. It had several small working faces and six derricks for lifting and moving when it was in operation in the early 1900s.

Operated by John Cline, the quarry produced polished stone for monuments and for building. Around 1912, the quarry delivered roughly-squared stone to Halifax for $5 per ton. Cline also operated quarries at White Head, Guysborough County, and in Middleton, Annapolis County.

The Cline Quarry was also called the Kline Quarry (with a K instead of a C) in some documents (see the maps below). It was not unusual for such spelling mistakes to find their way into historical records.

There was an historical quarry in Jollimore, which is referred to simply as the “Granite Quarry.” It is not clear exactly when it operated but it appears on a 1908 geological map so it existed prior to then. Today the quarry is on the edge of Sir Sandford Fleming Park and the only evidence of it on-site is a depression in the ground in a home’s backyard. The quarry was east of Route 253, about 200 metres north of the brook that connects Frog Lake and Whimsical Lake.

Spryfield’s Yeadon family played a major role in the area. William Drysdale Yeadon (1827-1909) operated a granite quarry which, before his death, he divided among his three eldest sons, Isaac, Amos and Andrew, who each later operated their own quarry.

The Yeadon Quarry, run by Isaac Yeadon (1866-1919), was about 200 metres southwest of Dents Punch Bowl, a small lake on Cowie Hill. By 1912, the quarry had worked an area of 150x150 feet to a depth of 10-12 feet, but there is no sign of it today due to modern development. Blocks of stone 10 feet long and 3 feet wide were easily obtained. Roughly squared blocks were delivered to Halifax at 40 cents per cubic foot and rough building stone at $1.25 per ton. The stone was used in monuments and store fronts, and in the Grande Parade wall on Barrington Street.

Isaac was also an owner of a gold mine in Sheet Harbour. As with quarrying, gold mining is an interest he likely picked up from his father who was involved in gold mines in the Beaver Dam gold district from 1886-1891 and in the Mooseland gold district in 1896.

The quarry owned by Andrew Yeadon (1857-1923) was adjacent to Isaac’s quarry. He was a blacksmith and stone cutter who lived on Quinpool Road in Halifax. His blacksmithing skills brought him work at various gold mines throughout the province.

Amos Yeadon’s (1856--1925) quarry was between Andrew Yeadon’s and John Cline’s quarries. Granite from Amos’ quarry was used in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Halifax.

The last contract for the Yeadon quarries was in 1954, completed in Isaac Yeadon’s quarry by his son George (Bud) Yeadon and grandson Bruce Yeadon.

Spryfield is named for Captain William Spry, who served as one of the engineer lieutenants at the siege of Louisbourg in 1758 and who was the Commanding Royal Engineer at Halifax from 1775-1783. He bought 500 acres of land in the area and was granted another 1000 acres. Soldiers from Halifax’s garrison cleared part of the land which soon became known as “Spry’s Field.”

Thanks to Iris V. Shea and the Mainland South Heritage Society (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~nsmshs/) for their assistance with information about the Yeadon family.

Andrew Yeadon’s quarry.

Long Lake Provincial Park.