History of the Trans-Canada:Truro to New Glasgow
From Masstown, the highway runs east and northeast for 87 kilometres (54 mi) past the towns of Truro, Westville, Stellarton and New Glasgow to Sutherlands River.
Highway 104 passes to the north of Truro. This stretch was section was originally built in the 1960s, and upgraded to a 4-lane divided freeway that opened in the early 1990s. This section is a 4-lane divided freeway and has a posted speed limit of 110 km/h.
Notice the hillside stands of maple, from which farmers harvest maple syrup in the springtime, during the short period when sap rises from the tree's roots to its branches and leaves. The Indians first harvested the sweet sap by cutting a diagonal channel in the bark, gathering the liquid sap into birchbark containers, and then boiling it by placing not rocks in a wooden trough. From 25 litres of sap, and hours of boiling, you end up with one litre of maple syrup.
Along the north coast of Nova Scotia, along the Northumberland Strait, is the Poctou Lowlands ecosystem. This area was favoured by settlers, who liked its fertile soft rock geography, and by shipbuilders who like the area's fine harbours, with gentle rivers leading up to virgin pine stands. When coal was discovered around New Glasgow, it triggered the growth of five area towns.
Early settlers were attracted by rich fertile farmlands along the West River, leading the the coast at New Glasgow. Settlers that arrived later had to clear the poorer uplands, which were later abandoned, and are now being reclaimed by forest species. Before the advent of commercial fertilizers in the 1950s, farmers would come to nearby Limerock (just north of the highway) and burn limestone to "sweeten" their fields (lower its acidity). The vase shaped trees in the river are white elms, which took root in the silt after seeds were deposited during spring floods.
The grey stone structure west of the bridge (on the south side) is the Museum of Industry, which marks and remembers an abandoned New Glasgow coal mine. As early as 1839, miners descended 240 metres (800 feet) down, to work the 12 metres (39 ft) thick Foord seam of coal, said to be the world's thickest coal seam. The area's coal mines closed down after competition from oil fuels, and from underground explosions over the 1950s.
More Trans-Canada Highway History← West
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Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map
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