Collapse of the
Moose River
Gold Mine

12-22 April 1936


Moose River Gold Mines
Halifax Regional Municipality
Nova Scotia


Located at Moose River Gold Mines provincial park

GPS location:   44°58'54"N   62°56'43"W


In 1950, the Canadian Press voted the Moose River
mine cave-in as the top radio news story
of the first half of the 20th century.



Moose River Gold Mine: plaque


Moose River Gold Mines Provincial Park: entry sign


Moose River Gold Mine: cairn


Moose River Gold Mine: plaque


Moose River Gold Mine provincial park


Moose River Gold Mine cairn, erected over the original borehole
The 1936 borehole is seen in the recess below the plaque.
Moose River Gold Mine: the successful borehole


Moose River Gold Mine: interpretative panel


Moose River Gold Mine: interpretative panel, upper detail


Moose River Gold Mine: interpretative panel, lower detail
Note: The CRBC, the predecessor of today's CBC, was
named the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission,
(not "Broadcast Company" as stated on the interpretative panel).
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was incorporated,
to replace the CRBC, on 2 November 1936, just six months after
the Moose River Gold Mine collapse and subsequent rescue.





Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill


Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill


Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill, manufactured at New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Stamp mill, manufactured at New Glasgow, Nova Scotia


Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill interpretative panel


Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill interpretative panel, left side detail


Moose River Gold Mines park: stamp mill interpretative panel, detail


The above photographs were taken on 21 June 2003.





Links to Relevant Websites

J. Frank Willis made famous by the 1936 Moose River mine disaster...
A live five-minute broadcast every half-hour for 69 hours...
The wide attention these frequent updates receive makes citizens realize
the power of radio, and jump-starts the Canadian radio industry...
    http://www.rcc.ryerson.ca/ccf/personal/hof/willis_j.html


Ten Days in Hell: The 1936 Moose River Mine Disaster by Shirley Collingridge
Frank Willis' hourly updates jump started the Canadian radio industry.
And his reporting style turned the Moose River disaster into the
biggest radio story of the first half of the twentieth century...
    http://www.shirleycollingridge.com/mooseriver.htm


Canada's Moose River Mine Disaster (1936): Radio-Newspaper Competition...
by Jeff Webb. In 1936 the attempt to rescue three men than had become trapped
in an abandoned mine shaft in Nova Scotia was broadcast live across North America.
This was the world's first live-unscripted news broadcast. The broadcaster on the
scene had no previous journalistic training...
    http://web.cs.mun.ca/~harold/jwebb/Abstracts/abs_HJFRT_96.html


People in Holes NPR (U.S. National Public Radio) 25 July 2003
History tells us that the public will always respond
to stories about people trapped in holes...

J. FRANK WILLIS: It is a frozen country down here – drab and desolate; a country
of scrub and second growth; of rock – rock – relentless, hard, cruel-hard.
It is against rock of this sort that miners for the past week have fought and fought,
grim-lipped, determined. And they're winning their fight – inch by inch the rock
is retreating...
MIKE PESCA: One man died; two survived. The Moose River Cave In was one of the
first times that radio displayed its power to connect with listeners on a real life event
occurring in real time...
    http://www.wnyc.org/onthemedia/transcripts/transcripts_072503_holes.html


Moose River Mine Disaster CBC Archives
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-70-672-3860-20/that_was_then/
          disasters_tragedies/moose_river


The Birth and Death of The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (1932-1936)
The most memorable CRBC program achievement was the coverage of the Moose River
Mine Disaster in April 1936 in Nova Scotia ... The CRBC made Frank Willis's reports
available to all Canadian radio stations and over 650 stations in the U. S. as well
as the BBC in Britain...
    http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/networks/networks_CRBC.html


Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission
    http://www.rcc.ryerson.ca/ccf/networks/networks_CRBC_Programming.html


Pre CBC: 1900-1936
    http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cbc/milestones/00_36.html


Canadian Broadcast Timeline by Colin Miller
    http://www.odxa.on.ca/archives/timelinebc.html


Books on the History of Radio and Television Broadcasting in Canada
by Harold Sellers
    http://www.odxa.on.ca/archives/timelinebooks.html


Brief History of the CBC ...in 1936 a marathon actuality broadcast from the
scene of the Moose River mine cave-in, in Nova Scotia. For three days and nights,
with improvised equipment, a borrowed car as a studio, and the same small team
on the job the whole time, bulletins were (broadcast live)...
    http://radio.cbc.ca/facilities/cbc-history.html


Radio: The People's Medium Athabaska University
Objective 2: Explain the role played by the Aird Commission (1928),
the Moose River Mine Disaster (1936), and the Royal Tour (1939) in
the history of Canadian radio...
    http://www.athabascau.ca/courses/cmns/302/unit6guide.html




The Wayback Machine has an archived copy of this document:
Collapse of the Moose River Gold Mine, April 1936

Archived: 2004 March 08
/hfxrm/moosegoldm.html





Photographs of War Memorials, Historic Monuments and Plaques in Nova Scotia
    /remem/plaques.html



Goldboro war memorial Goldboro war memorial Goldboro
    /guysbco/goldborom.html


St. Mary's Municipality war memorial St. Mary's Municipality war memorial Sherbrooke
    /guysbco/sherbrooke.html


Spanish Ship Bay war memorial Spanish Ship Bay war memorial Spanish Ship Bay
    /guysbco/spanbay.html


Charlos Cove historical plaque Charlos Cove historical plaque Charlos Cove
    /guysbco/charloshist.html


New Harbour war memorial New Harbour war memorial New Harbour
    /guysbco/newhbrm.html


Commercial Cable Company telegraph office Hazel Hill
    /guysbco/commcable.html


Westville: Miners Memorial monument 1891 Miners Memorial monument 1891 Westville
    /pictouco/westvminem.html


New Glasgow: Westray Miners Memorial Park Westray Miners Memorial Park New Glasgow
    /pictouco/westraymem.html


The Ovens Gold Mines plaque The Ovens Gold Mines plaque The Ovens
    /lunenco/ovensgold.html


Captain James Cook monument Halifax
    /hfxrm/cookjmon.html


S.S. Atlantic 1873 memorial at Sandy Cove, Terence Bay S.S. Atlantic 1873: memorial at Sandy Cove Terence Bay
    /hfxrm/ssatlanhrm.html


Halifax war memorial, Grand Parade Halifax war memorial The Cenotaph, Grand Parade
    /hfxrm/hfxwarmem.html


Welsford-Parker monument Welsford-Parker monument, Crimean War Halifax
    /hfxrm/crimeamon.html



Go To:   Index to other online Nova Scotia History
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First uploaded to the Internet:   2003 June 23
Latest content update:   2004 December 23
1