Page 41 - Fragment from Mining at Gold Brook
ISSUE : Issue 30
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1
':j'#-*.-'v*?n'-' Entrance to the gold mine; the crusher in winter; Georqie H. MacRae. Fragments from Mining atGoldBrool< Georgie H. MacRae, Middle River: The gold mining operation at Gold Brook is part of Middle River District. It is said that a farmer named Morrison was the first to call the government's attention to the fact that there was gold in this area, and in return he was given an area on one of the brooks. He was reported to have been very successful in washing gold. Dan E. MacQuarrie, Middle River: This Mor- rison--people were saying that he could go in there any day of the week and make a day's wages. Wasn't very much then--only a dollar or a couple of dollars--but they said he could go and make a day's wages out of the brook. So that must have been running through gold. Roddy MacLeod, Baddeck: About the first I heard of gold was about this Morrison--he was panning gold. I was told he got enough gold to make rings for his three daughters. He lived up the river further, at the head of Middle River. That wasn't too far from the gold mine. Georgie H. MacRae: On the other hand, it is reported that J. G. MacLeod received a free claim in April of 1864--and he as? sumed that he was the original discoverer. Also in 1864, applications were made for a considerable number of areas on three streams running into the river. Several men were hired in washing, and a consider? able amount of gold was obtained. So much so that the Chief Gold Commissioner recom? mended that his locality be proclaimed a Gold District. In 1870 all the brooks above MacLennan's Bridge were tested by means of cradles, sluices, and pans. The largest nugget found is said to have been worth between $12.00 and $15.00, but most were valued at from 50c to $2.00. Not enough gold was found to meet expenses. Around the turn of the century, a Mr. W. C. Scranton arrived here from Pennsylvania. The basis for this article was an essay called "Forgotten Gold" by Georgie H. Mac? Rae of Middle River. Those portions of the following, that appear to be Georgie speak? ing, are from her essay. It is believed that he had ancestors in In? verness County at one time, but they were now deceased. He confided to friends that after an unfortunate love affair at home, he intended to bury himself in the wilder? ness. He was a pleasant, gentle man, dis? tinguished by his good manners and fine penmanship. He obtained considerable land in the gold-producing area. He did consid? erable surface prospecting. He hired a few men, had a small house built for himself, and under his direction a crusher was e- rected. Mr. Scranton was attempting to mine a vein called the Lizard Lode. As you ascend the Middle River you will no? tice that the area is drained by four small tributaries. They are the First Gold Brook, Second Gold Brook, Third Gold Brook, and Fourth Gold Brook--and you meet them in that order as you go up the Middle Riv? er. These brooks flow westward and are be? tween a half mile and a mile apart. Much prospecting and investigation by geolo? gists was done in the area of all these brooks, but the area around Second Brook was found to be the most interesting. A- bout a mile from Second Brook is the area where Mr. Scranton had discovered the Liz? ard Lode. (Analysis revealed 2.14 ounces of gold per ton.) But Mr. Scranton, having neither the money nor expertise to mine the area profitably, looked to enlist new capital. Several com? panies were interested, and one of these was the Great Bras d'Or Gold Mining Compa? ny. After careful assessment, they thought it worthwhile to invest in more modern ma? chinery. This company was funded by Ameri-
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