Themes

GOLD MINING    •    GOLD IN NATURE    •    GOLD IN SOCIETY    •    GOLD IN ART

Cave-in

Pile of rock debris next to the buildings of the Higgins and Lawlor Gold Mine, Moose River.

In 1936 at Moose River, Halifax Co., NS, the mine workings owned by the Moose River Gold Syndicate were in poor shape. The Magill shaft was a 30-year old mine that had not had much maintenance. This meant the wooden supports for the roof of the mine were few and far-between.

Pillars of rock also used in mining to keep a roof from collapsing due to the downward pressure from the earth above, had been mined out. Water that had filled the mine due to earlier neglect had been pumped out, but the frost that formed from this dampness weakened the pillars and supports. When the two mine owners, Dr. D.E. Robertson, and Herman Magill, entered the mine with Alfred Scadding, their time keeper, on April 12, 1936, the mine was at the breaking point.

Black and white photograph of broken timbers and debris fill a wood-lined shaft.

The collapsed entrance to the Magill Shaft in Moose River, as seen from the surface.

NSA: N-4323

While the men were below, it all gave way, sending boulders, timbers and concussive air crashing down the shaft. The entrance to the mine was solidly blocked.