Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 30 > Page 48 - Fragment from Mining at Gold Brook

Page 48 - Fragment from Mining at Gold Brook

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (700 reads)

aiount of gold obtained was so small that the company ended in bankruptcy. Some of the workers were obliged to take blankets, dishes, and other tangible articles in place of the wages due them. Dan E. MacQuarrie: They pulled out and they left all the beds and blankets and everything there. And a bunch of fellows came there and took everything out, I guess. Some of them claim they were shorted on their wages, which I think wasn't true. There were good buildings there. There was a good bunkhouse there. (Did they take the stamp mill?) Not then. It lay there for years and years, and they let it go up for tax. They sold the scrap to some firm in Sydney, I guess. Oh, they had a good mill there, a good modern mill • Georgie H. MacRae: One of the mine bosses who had his family with him continued to live at the mine for most of two years. Whether he was able to feed his family from his mining is unknown. However, in 1918 he folded his tent and vanished from this area. Mr. Scranton still lived in his little house in the wilderness. Occasionally he would walk out to Finlayson Post Office to get his mail, which was not at all exten? sive. While out, he would pick up some needed supplies and perhaps visit at one of the nearby houses, where he was always welcome. Years passed, and Mr. Scranton came and went as he pleased. He seemed con? tent with his books and cigars. He often spent a weekend here and there among his friends, keeping in touch with world hap? penings through the newspapers, Early in the 1920s, after winter had set in early and there had been several heavy snowfalls, it dawned on the people of this area that no one had seen Mr. Scranton for several weeks. It would be impossible to put a horse through the road, so Sandy Mac? Lennan and Tom MacLean decided to make the trip on snowshoes. They arrived at the mines to find Mr. Scranton physically ill, barely able to keep wood to his fire. He had been rationing his food for days, and his kerosene lamp was all but dry. The men fashioned a pair of moggans for Mr. Scranton out of whatever material was a- vailable, and they thought that by making identical tracks with the snowshoes, it would make a track firm enough to hold Mr. Scranton's weight. But it did not work. The man was too weak to be plunging in the snow, so Tom MacLean gave him his snow- shoes and he made the tiresome trip on foot. They got Mr. Scranton safely to the home of Sandy MacLennan, where with warm clothes and nourishing food he soon recov? ered, and in a week's time he was able to go to Baddeck, where he spent the next few years. Tom MacLean had good reason to remember his errand of mercy, for the next day he began to have pain and soreness in his hip, and as a result was obliged to carry a cane for the remainder of his days. Mr. Scranton seemed to have lost his dream of gold, and after a few years, he died in Baddeck. He never went back to Pennsylvan? ia, and he never revealed the site of the rich lead, if in fact he did know. Dan E. MacQuarrie: After that, there were a few men in Sydney, they thought there'd be a lot of this gold in where there was an old falls there, coming down over a rock, I suppose 10 feet high. So they shifted the river. And they had a dredge there working one summer. But I don't know whether they found much gold or not. It folded, anyway. They were thinking that the gold would stay in this big pool, you know. The only thing I ever saw it was any good for was salmon. We used to get lots of salmon there. Dan E. MacQuarrie Alex Poirier Roddy MacLeod Our thanks to Bessie MacGregor, Nyanza, for supplying the photo of her husband, Francis, and Alex J. MacRae, at the entrance to the Gold Brook mine. And to George Leonard, Ingonish, for loan on the booklet seeking investors. Thanks to Candy Christiano, Middle River, who encouraged us to offer this story and helped locate people to in? terview. And to Helen Maclssac, Sydney, who shared with us her own research regarding the gold mines. (48)
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download