Fram­ing things up

Arche­o­log­i­cal dig finds more foundry walls

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY SUEANN MUSICK

It’s all about the dig.

Just ask the 100 peo­ple who vis­ited the grounds of the Mu­seum of In­dus­try in Stel­lar­ton this past week­end to take part in a pub­lic arche­o­log­i­cal dig on the site of the for­mer Al­bion Mines Foundry com­plex.

It is the third time a pub­lic dig has been hosted at the Stel­lar­ton site and it didn’t seem to dis­ap­point any­one in at­ten­dance, in­clud­ing arche­ol­o­gist Laura deBoer.

“From our past years, we got a cou­ple lit­tle sec­tions of wall and we have a cou­ple of maps but not all of them are su­per ac­cu­rate. We picked the one that is most ac­cu­rate and we made what we call a pre­dicted model by scal­ing from the map and lin­ing it up with some of the walls we have. We placed units ac­cord­ingly to­day and we found a wall.”

But that isn’t all.

“Our model is quite a large build­ing with three dif­fer­ent work ar­eas. This (the wall found Satur­day) we think is an in­ter­nal wall. We also found lots of ar­ti­facts like in­dus­trial byprod­ucts such as slag, scrap iron, cop­per and some­times we find lit­tle bits from the work­ers like bits of bot­tles form their lunches, boot lac­ing that is leather. “

Be­gin­ning in 1827, a foundry stood for decades as part of the ear­li­est large-scale coal min­ing in Nova Sco­tia.

She said all of the ma­te­rial found is recorded, cat­a­logued and will even­tu­ally be turned over to the Mu­seum of In­dus­try. The end goal is to have a phys­i­cal out­line of the build­ing for peo­ple to view, but is it a process that takes years to com­plete.

“In five years from now, we will have quite a bit of the foundry ex­posed, maybe we will get a her­itage ma­son to help us sta­bi­lize the brick walls so can keep ex­posed as maybe an ex­hibit for the mu­seum. That is still in the works, but ide­ally, we will have all the in­for­ma­tion but we will have a last­ing, phys­i­cal thing peo­ple can visit.”

SUEANN MUSICK/THE NEWS

Don Mac­Neil helps Carter Mac­Neil, both of Hal­i­fax, empty their bucket into a screen to be sifted. They were par­tic­i­pants in an arche­o­log­i­cal dig in Stel­lar­ton that is un­cov­er­ing the site of the for­mer Al­bion Mines Foundry.

SUEANN MUSICK/THE NEWS

Noah Boudreau and Abby Boudreau were happy with their finds dur­ing an arche­o­log­i­cal dig in Stel­lar­ton this past week. The dig took place at the site of the for­mer Al­bion Mines Foundry.

SUEANN MUSICK/THE NEWS

Madi­son Boudreau of Pic­tou looks through the items she found while dig­ging at an arche­o­log­i­cal site in Stel­lar­ton.

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