Springhill lies in Nova Scotia’s interior uplands resting between the Cobequid Mountains and the Bay of Fundy in the central location of Cumberland County (Figure 1). It was first settled in 1790 and in the 19th century mines in the Springhill coalfield were established (“1958 Springhill Mine Disaster”, 2015). With an increase in the population and employment in the town, it became a single sector industry for mining. Eventually, the cost of shipping coal would exceed the costs of mining it. In early 1880s, the connection between the mining and railway companies were formalized (Murry, 2007).
This report discusses the indicators as to why the town has a decreasing rate of a senior population and large out migration of employment based on the evolutionary context. It looks at the development process based on initiatives and economic trajectories that have taken place in Springhill from before its mining disaster and after. Then determine what internal or external stakeholders have played a role in its community development, what their current assessment are and what may happen to its economy as time goes on. Lastly, recommendations will be presented based on what will help this municipality improve its current situation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the transition that is taking place in a resource-based community from the beginning of a single sector mining industry in a small town of Springhill to becoming a part of a county with a recombination of layering industries based on its geothermal resources.
Unfortunately, while homes were establishing, and economy was booming, 3 mining disasters occurred in 1891, 1956 and 1958 within Springhill, changing Springhill forever. After the third disaster, the population began to drop drastically by 20 percent from 1956 to 1961 and continued as they struggled to stabilize an industry (“Canada Year Book”, 1966).
Springhill was once a town which lead economic growth through its primary industry of the coal mines. However, due to the economic challenges, they were unexpected to find benefits in the abandoned coal mines being realized in the form of geothermal energy. Beginning in the 1980s, the heat source was being exploited by companies in Springhill’s industrial park and helped to reduce energy bills substantially (“A geothermal future for Springhill – CBS Archives”).