The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

December 1, 2010

Articles from 1937

Springhill Record
Jan. 1937 –
Springhill Has Shortage of Water for 28 Hours

Springhill Jan. 3 – Water. So calmly accepted as an everyday service in a modern community, in its absence can seriously handicap industry and cause general inconvenience.  This lesson was emphasized in this town, which for 28 hours had been without water service, due to a water main break.

     Tonight town officials and citizens breathed a sigh of relief as the life-giving liquid gushed through the dry pipes, and the service was resumed.

Mines Were Idle

Due to the absence of water the mines were unworked today, many hundreds of men being forced to remain in idleness.  The miners returned to their homes this morning when they failed to secure drinking water to take with them into the mines.

     It was a day of anxiety for the Fire Department, who, had any alarms been sounded, have been without the required water to battle flames.

     The weatherman co-operated, and in the wake of below zero weather, the temperature was not of a type to produce suffering in public buildings and residences which rely on hot water heating systems, many of which were unable to function.

     People were seen carrying water in all directions from springs and wells and Saltsprings Brook.

Suffered Injury

Daniel Davis, Superintendent of Streets and Water Service, fell on the ice last night, while engaged in directing work at the scene of the break in the main, and is believed to have suffered a fractured shoulder.  He went to All Saints Hospital for an X-Ray, had his shoulder strapped, and returned to his duties, remaining on the job over a period of 48 hours.

Springhill April 28, 1939 – Springhill’s Golden Anniversary

May the second will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Springhill, which has a history dating back to the post American revolution period.  In 1790 three soldiers, United Empire Loyalists, late of Virginia crossed over from the Loyalist settlement of Sackville and followed in along the Maccan River, breaking through the trail over the Athol plain, settling what was later called Old Springhill.

Coal in 1834

     There is no authentic date of the discovery of coal here although Ludewick Hunter offered coal extracted from a hard seam in 1834.

     First operations took place in 1869 when John Anderson came to Springhill from River Hebert where he had been operating a small mine.  With James Hickman he opened the Anderson shaft and coal was raised by means of a “gin” operated by a horse.

     In June, 1873, the Springhill mining industry, around which was to be built up a new Nova Scotia town was formally instituted with the operating of No. 2 Mine under the Springhill Mining Company.

     The first car of coal was taken to Springhill Junction, Dec. 6, 1873.  The town was incorporated on March 30, 1889, and the first election for Mayor and council was held May 2, 1889.  Alexander E. Fraser, later Liberal M.P. for Cumberland, was elected mayor by acclamation and became the first mayor, Councillors were R.H. Cooper, A.D. Ferguson, E.B. Paul (later Liberal M.P.P.), Charles Simpson, Solomon Kewer and F.F. Noiles.  The tax rate at that time was $1.30.  Joseph Herrett was the first Justice of the Peace and Richard Bennett was the first Magistrate.

     This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the first mining operation, the 60th anniversary of the first miners’ union, and Springhill’s first newspaper and the 50th anniversary of the erection of the Junction Road School.

      It was in September, 1879, that the Provincial Workmen’s Association was formed here.  The first miners union in Nova Scotia.  Robert Drummond, an official of the Springhill Mining Company and William Madden, later Inspector of Mines for Nova Scotia, were instrumental in organizing the association.  Some eighteen months after its organization the society had a bill prepared entitled an act to amend Chapter 10 Revised Statutes of the Regulation of Mines and passed the Assembly and Legislative Council.

     The act of incorporation gave the society legal standing and also committed the P.W.A. to responsibility for the acts of its members.

     The same year saw the launching of the first newspaper “The Trades Journal”, the official organ of the P.W.A. founded by Mr. Drummond, and the first number being issued January 1, 1889, and was printed in Mr. Drummond’s house.  It was removed later to Stellerton, enlarged and continued for many years as the Maritime Mining Record becoming in time the official organ of the coal trade of the Maritime Provinces.