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Stellarton archeological dig finds more foundry walls

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

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