Gold Rush Ghost Towns of Nova Scotia tells the fascinating stories of abandoned communities, not haunted buildings and paranormal encounters, although the occasional resident spirit does make an appearance. Ghost towns generally begin as industry-based communities of convenience for mining but when resources were depleted, marks slumped or demand outstripped production, their reason for being ended.
The story of mining in Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s oldest, yet is perhaps the province’s best kept heritage secret. More gold was mined worldwide in the 1800s than during the previous five thousand years. Since Canada was one of the worlds largest gold producers, auriferous tales and legends abound from that era of motherlodes found and fortunes lost. Nova Scotia heralded the first of its three gold rushes 37 years before men braved Yukon’s Chilkoot Pass heading to the Klondike. Adventurers from the world over were drawn to Nova Scotia’s burgeoning nineteenth-century gold districts as was “a motley crew of day labourers, farmers, fishermen, ruined mechanics, drunkards and gamblers.”
An air of mysticism shrouding ghost towns holds a fascination for historians, social scientists, treasure and relic hunters, geocachers and nostalgia buffs. Mike Parker tells the story of characters and con men, industry and labour, prosperity and recession. Although abandoned gold mining settlements are the book’s central theme, ghost towns built upon coal, iron ore and copper are featured as well. Scores of exhaustively researched images, supported by informative, entertaining text, tell the sad story of a great heritage that has been nearly erased from our history books.