August 21st, 2006
Christopher van Donkelaar
The site of the old Dunbrack Mine caught our interest because the minerals found at the site included two rarities of particular interest: Azurite and Malachite. A local man who we met at the Nova Scotia Gem & Mineral Show, Doug, was kind enough to give us some details of what to look for and we headed out.
Funnily enough, if it hadn’t been for the bright orange tape and warning signs we probably wouldn’t have found it; there is no road left to the old mine and we wouldn’t have know where to leave the road. The signs warned of open pits and while they weren’t inviting, they didn’t explicitly tell us to stay off (that was left to an angry women and her 80 pound Rottweiler dog).
For the next hour we quietly gathered little rocks from the old dump pile we found. We did find the promised minerals, and although they were in small quantities, it was still a real find in our books. We also found some interesting yellow mineral samples that I need to research.
Then we heard a women calling and, after answering, we headed up the hill to introduce ourselves, but the woman was not interested in anything beyond our leaving her property. While the meeting started off very badly, (especially because her dog wasn’t leashed and wasn’t heeding her calls) by the end she was kind enough to let us keep what we had found and even waved goodbye as we drove away.
I don’t know what possible past experiences led to such a harsh reception but both my brother and I felt badly about the mistake. In the end, the lady gave us her house number and instructions, that if we ever wanted to return to the site, we should check with her first.