E.R. Faribault

Detail image of Faribault’s plan of the Goldenville Gold District.

Born in L’Assomption, Quebec in 1860, Eugène Rodolphe Faribault joined the Geological Survey of Canada on a seasonal basis in 1882, making it a permanent position in 1885. Faribault had the longest history working for the Geological Survey of Canada, from 1882-1932 and was noted for his excellence in field geology.

Faribault’s life work was the of mapping Nova Scotia’s gold fields, focusing on the Meguma Group along the southeast coast of Nova Scotia where he made important discoveries that helped people understand the locations of gold in the province. He began near Guysborough, at the east end of the Nova Scotia mainland and, at the time of his retirement, was working south of Annapolis. Faribault published 47 map sheets, each covering an area 12 x 16 miles (roughly 19 x 26 km) under his own name and another 13 that he co-authored with Hugh Fletcher, another pioneer geologist who focused on mapping the parts of Nova Scotia underlain by Carboniferous strata (coalfields), primarily Cape Breton.

In addition to these larger maps, Faribault completed 34 detailed maps of areas where workable gold veins were encountered, published on large scales – 500 ft to an inch. All of these materials can be explored and downloaded through Natural Resources Canada

Because of his work, Faribault was the first to realize that the productive veins of gold in Nova Scotia, “occurred like saddles along the crests of small anticlines” and discovered many, mostly small, orebodies.

Black and white photograph of E. R. Faribault.

Eugène Rodolphe Faribault

Nova Scotia Archives

Faribault’s maps and results have stood testament to his hard work and discipline and given him the name of the Grand Old Man of Nova Scotian Geology.