Church's Mineral Map of Nova Scotia.
AMBROSE F. CHURCH
Published 1889, Bedford, NS
Size: Wall Map dissected in 24 sections.
Condition: Damp stains, small tears at seams.
An impressive and rare wall map by Ambrose F. Church of the geological deposits situated in Nova Scotia, one of four original signatory provinces in the newly created Dominion of Canada.
Church’s Mineral Map was published shortly after the completion of a series of maps commissioned by the Nova Scotia legislature from 1864 to 1888 that depict and describe each of Nova Scotia’s 18 counties in terms of their topographic features including towns and villages as well as identifying prominent property owners and their occupation.
Such was the detail offered by Church’s county maps that it has been argued that;
“ Next to highway and perhaps geological maps, the maps of Nova Scotia most frequently consulted are the topographical township maps of the counties that were prepared by Ambrose F. Church and published by A.F. Church & Co.”
With the information gathered from his commissioned work, Church undertook his magnum opus with this splendid map of the entire province with detailed locations of mineral deposits, railway lines (both active and/or proposed), connecting roads, money order offices, Savings banks, P.O. and Telegraph Stations, etc. The map also provides the area and populations of the major cities within the different counties. Insets further provides data information for 1888 on the different gold mines such as their days of labour, the number of mills, the tons of quartz crushed, total of gold yield per ton, etc. It is also of interest that the map provides a comparison with output from prior years dating as far back as 1850 and also provides data on the coal exports to the United States and the duty amounts paid. Economic historians can thus see the effects of the implementation of different duty rates prior to and following the Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and the Nova Scotia colony in 1854 and the changes to the duty rates following Confederation in 1867. As such, with the passage of Confederation and the inability to renew a reciprocity treaty with the United States in the mid 1870’s, the trade patterns and the tariffs policies were altered on an East-West axis that spurred on a trans-continental railway within Canada, rather than the historical North-South axis between Canada and the United States.
Church also includes an inset article by Edwin Gilpin, Jr., the Government Inspector of Mines for the Province of Nova Scotia entitled The Minerals of Nova Scotia. This article provides further descriptions of the coal, gold and iron fields of Nova Scotia, with further detail information on other minerals such as copper, lead, silver, Manganese, gypsum, etc.
It should be mentioned that the map is important not only because of its depiction of Nova Scotia at the height of the exploitation of the gold and coal fields, but also because of the striking visual beauty resulting from the colour lithography undertaken by the Canada Bank Note Co. of Montreal. In effect, the colour scheme of the map for Nova Scotia is accentuated by the contrast to the uncoloured depiction of its neighbouring province, Prince Edward Island.
As such, Church’s map, although originally published to decimate information, today can easily be viewed as a work of art, and thus satisfy those collectors interested in either field.
(Sources: Fergusson, C.B., Dalhousie Review, Vol.49, 1969)