Black and white photograph of a man with a tophat

photograph: Robert Foulis, Inventor, c. 1860, 1932. Robert Foulis was talented man with a varied career. He is best known for inventing a steam powere foghorn. Foulis was involved in the mining of albertite at Albert Mines and once stated that he had used the bitumen to create an illuminating gas long before Abraham Gesner.

Unknown
Gift of Alice Maude Rainnie, 1949
1932
letterpress halftone on wove paper
17.2 x 9 cm
1981.11.9
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photograph of a man with whiskers

photograph: Abraham Gesner (1797-1864), c. 1870. Abraham Gesner is often considered a founder of the modern petroleum industry for developing a method to distill kerosene. Gesner used the bitumen albertite, from Albert Mines, as a resource.

Unknown
New Brunswick Museum Collection
c. 1870
Albert Mines, New Brunswick, CANADA
Saint John, New Brunswick, CANADA
albumen print, mounted on card
25.4 x 15.8 cm
X10722
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photograph of a railway bridge with granite piers over a river

photograph: Intercolonial Railway Bridge over the Nepisiguit River, New Brunswick, 1875. The Connolly Quarry (or Nepisiguit Quarry) near Bathurst is one of the oldest granite quarries in northern New Brunswick. It began operation in the 1860s. Some of the stone from this quarry was used to construct bridges for the Intercolonial Railway.

Alexander Henderson
Gift of Grace Busby and Louise Busby, 1935
1875
Bathurst, New Brunswick, CANADA
albumen print, mounted on card
25.1 x 36.2 cm
23338.28
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Painting of river valley with islands, wharves and boats

painting: Spoon Island, River Saint John, New Brunswick, 1909. Looking north from Evandale, Kings County, toward Spoon Island, Queens County in the Saint John River at Hampstead. The granite quarry wharf is visible on the left.

John Christopher Miles (1832-1911)
Gift of Mary Elizabeth Barnhill, 1969
1909
Hampstead, New Brunswick, CANADA
watercolour over graphite, heightened with opaque white on textured wove paper, laid down on board
23.3 x 39 cm
A69.10
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour photograph of granite quarry with hammer to indicate scale of boulders

photograph: Hampstead ‘granite’ Quarry, Evandale granodiorite, Hampstead, New Brunswick, 2008. The Evandale Granodiorite quarried near Hampstead, can be seen in the foundations of historic buildings in Uptown Saint John, as foundation stones in the Hampstead area, and as monument stone.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2008
Hampstead, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photograph of piles of grindstones

photograph: Finished Grindstones at Stonehaven, Gloucester County, New Brunswick, 1928. Quarries at Stonehaven were well known for producing quality grindstones and sharpening stones.

H. W. Beecher Smith
William Francis Ganong Collection
1928
Stonehaven, New Brunswick, CANADA
Bathurst, New Brunswick, CANADA
silver print
12.9 x 17.8 cm
1987.17.1142
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of solid white rock

Halite: rock salt, Lower Carboniferous, Near Sussex, New Brunswick. Halite, sometimes known as rock salt, was deposited during the Carboniferous, when the Windsor Sea flooded low-lying areas of the Maritimes Basin in western New Brunswick. As sea levels changed in the Carboniferous period, the salt water evaporated, concentrating the minerals into potash, salt and gypsum.

Unknown
New Brunswick Museum

Sussex, New Brunswick, CANADA
Specimen width 7 cm
NBME 1159
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of lead block stamped BM & S

Refined Lead Bar: lead ingot, Ordovician, Brunswick Mining and Smelting, New Brunswick. Brunswick Mining and Smelting is one of the largest lead and zinc producers in the world.

Brunswick Mining and Smelting
New Brunswick Museum

Bathurst, New Brunswick, CANADA
Specimen width 62 cm
NBME 1150
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour photograph of large blue back-hoe digging coal

photograph: Coal mining dragline in operation, Minto, New Brunswick, c. 1988. Coal mining near Minto began as early as 1639.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
c. 1988
Minto, New Brunswick, CANADA
Chipman, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photograph of men with picks and shovels and loaded wagon of albertite

photograph: Miners at Albert Mines, Hillsborough, Albert County, New Brunswick, c. 1870. The bitumen called albertite created the mining community of Albert Mines. In the 1870s it was a busy community with mine shafts, a church, and houses for employees. Today all that remains are crumbling foundations.

Unknown
Collection of the New Brunswick Museum
c. 1870
Albert Mines, New Brunswick, CANADA
silver print
10.4 x 46 cm
X11628
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photograph of horse, wagon and two men

photograph: Plaster Mines, Hillsborough, New Brunswick, c. 1900. Gypsum deposits near Hillborough were important for its prosperity in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Unknown
Collection of the New Brunswick Museum
c. 1900
Hillsborough, New Brunswick, CANADA
gelatine silver print, mounted on card
20.3 x 27.5 cm
X11526
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Randall Miller discusses St. George quarries and Titanic tombstones with Dr. Barrie Clarke

Dr. Barrie Clarke Department of Earth Sciences Dalhousie University, Halifax Dr. Randall Miller Research Curator, Geology and Palaeontology New Brunswick Museum

MILLER

So Barrie I was just interested in the kind of work that you are doing and why you are looking at some of these gabbros and its relation to the Titanic.

CLARKE

Well this story started about fifteen years ago when James Cameron’s movie came out, and suddenly the. . . the movie about the Titanic of course, and suddenly the city of Halifax realized it had a major tourist attraction on its hands with the 150 people who are buried in Halifax from the Titanic disaster. And so they thought they better spruce up the place and a couple of the stones were damaged. They had been … they had succumbed to weathering over the last 90 years or so. So somebody, one of the work crew said well okay we’ll just replace the stone, and somebody else said, okay, fine, where did it come from, and that’s the question we’ve been trying to answer for the last fifteen years.

So.. a piece of the broken stone came to me. Where did it come from I was asked. I said I don’t know. I had some ideas, I turned out to be wrong. My first guesses were wrong, and I still don’t know if I am right, but I am beginning to look very carefully at the black granites of southwestern New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2012
Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA
St. George, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Randall Miller discusses St. George quarries and Titanic tombstones with Dr. Barrie Clarke

Dr. Barrie Clarke Department of Earth Sciences Dalhousie University, Halifax Dr. Randall Miller Research Curator, Geology and Palaeontology New Brunswick Museum

MILLER

So you are looking at a specimen here from the New Brunswick Museum collection that was collected around Bocabec or St. George area, and this looks close to the source of the gabbro that…

CLARKE

Yeah it does, this sample here is one of the many of the black granites that come from the St. George-St. Stephen area of New Brunswick, and it’s interesting because this sample was donated to the museum, sometime late in 1912 or early 1913, right after the headstones were produced for Halifax. So it’s rather.. rather interesting timing and when I look at the texture of this rock, and it is one of the things I have to go by, I’d say it’s pretty close to what I see in the Titanic headstones in Halifax.

MILLER

So these things were marketed as black granite but they are not really…

CLARKE

No, if one of my students called this a black granite on a test I would give him zero, it’s in fact a gabbro, and it has quite different minerals than a granite, and it’s much darker in colour than granites are.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2012
St. George, New Brunswick, CANADA
Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Randall Miller discusses St. George quarries and Titanic tombstones with Dr. Barrie Clarke

Dr. Barrie Clarke Department of Earth Sciences Dalhousie University, Halifax Dr. Randall Miller Research Curator, Geology and Palaeontology New Brunswick Museum

MILLER

So this one has a few unique properties to it that you are looking for.

CLARKE

Yeah it does. One of the things we have to match is the age, and we know the age of the Titanic headstones is 422 million years, plus or minus 2 million years, and that is the age of the black granites in southwestern New Brunswick. So I suspect if we took a sample of this and dated it we would also get 422. That’s one of the things we’ll have to do when we have a real candidate that we think is a match. We have to match the minerals too, and the interesting thing about the Titanic headstones is that they have not one, not two, but five different black minerals in them, and that’s most unusual for a gabbro. So if this sample has only four of them, then this isn’t the one. I’ve got to find one with olivine, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, hornblende and biotite, and it’s quite a tall order to fill.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2012
St. George, New Brunswick, CANADA
Halifax, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Curriculum Outcomes:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basic features of Canada’s landscape and climate: identify and locate major landforms of Canada, explain the creation and characteristics of mountains and plains, describe and account for the variation in physical landscape across Canada
  • analyze the effects of selected geographic factors on Canadian identity: describe where Canadians live and explain why communities are established and grow in particular locations, account for the variations in growth of settlements due to physical and human factors

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans