Issue: July 2024
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Next deadline: August 26


My family started going to Mount Uniacke in 1946. We built our first cottage in what was then called Old Mines Road. I see the sign now says Old Gold Mines Road. Our first cottage was a renovated chicken coup, located in the first field on the left about a mile past Little West Lake. Little West Lake was about one quarter of a mile past the top of Cockscomb Hill.

We lived in Halifax and Dad worked at the Nova Scotia Light and Power Company as shift foreman at the car barn. As kids we spent the entire summer each year in the old mines road. It was a great place for a kid to explore, as long as you knew where all the open mine shafts were located.

We were a family of seven kids so always had companions to play with. Our summers were spent swimming in the surrounding lakes and exploring the many buildings that were still standing. We of course had no electricity and nights were spent around the oil lamps playing cards (45's and rummy).

We had an old wind up record player and about 150 / 78 rpm records. I listened to those old records so many times, I still remember the lyrics and the tunes. We also had a battery radio which we listened to for a short period each night.

At that time there were two complete mines standing with all the buildings and equipment, right down to the quartz still on the conveyor belts. One was located at the sight of our second cottage, and the other was at the start of the hauling road to Long Lake, which was located on the sharp curve past Fred Allen's place. All the equipment disappeared over the years for scrap. The church was still standing with the organ intact, the school house with the bell, all the desks, and blackboards. Permanent residents were the Werner brothers, Bill and Emma Kevin , Ed Prince and Dave Dunbrack as well as the Patriquins whomoved out to the end of the road within a short period. Ed Prince and Dave Dunbrack were still prospecting. Summer residents were the Cunningham's, Edison Boutlier, the Bowdens, and Fred Allen. The Renners had moved out the end of the road near the highway.

The Welners had an old horse called Queenie and we would hook her up to the old wagon and go out the Old Mines Road, a mile down the highway to the general store by the train station. I believe it was called Semones. Also in the village was MacIvors service station were the present service station is located. Later on John Cole opened a service station diagonally across the road. I think it was a White Rose, but not sure. Across from Semones was a hall were the cenotaph is now located. On weekends we would pile in the car and go to the hall to watch movies. A chap would come with a movie projector and movies. This was a treat for the kids. Many times the movie that was scheduled did not materialize and they would again show the "Man in the Iron Mask" with Louis Hayward. I watched that movie so many times, that today, when I hear the name I cringe.

Our second cottage was a large log cabin (the old mess hall for the mine) located next to the mine, which at that time was still standing.

We had this cottage until 1954 when we sold it to Mickey Renner and J Craig and we built a cottage out the end of the road next to Purvis. Shortly after that the log cabin was burned down.

By the time Fred Allen moved his house out to the main road any housing still standing in the Old Mines Rd was in bad condition and not worth repairing or had been stripped of anything worth saving. On one or more occasions places were broken into, which I think convinced Freddie Allen to have the house moved out to the main Road. I remember them moving the house from its sight across from Ed Prince. It was moved on a large flat bed pulled by a dozer. Fred's house was located if front of and close to a very large open mine shaft which was the size of a large pond. It had shear rock walls on three sides and one end was sloped so that you could, with care, walk down to the water. My sisters husband would dive from the high side (about 35 feet or more) into the water than swim to the end and climb up the rocks back to the surface..

Mom and dad sold the cottage out by the highway in the early sixties and bought a cottage on Lake Echo.