First Level Assessment- Land use History of the main stem of the Petitcodiac River

Mining Practices

The potential for production of agricultural lime noted by Johnston (1851) along the North River a short distance upstream of the Village of Petitcodiac, was eventually realized. The Geological Survey of Canada (1890) concluded that, “gypsiferous beds in the vicinity of the salt springs along Salt Springs Brook and in the North River valley near Petitcodiac enrich the soil in these particular localities.” The Petitcodiac Mining and Manufacturing Company (1860-1909) developed the lime resources of the Glenvale district along Salt Springs Brook (Burrows 1984). Years later Goudge (1934) noted the remains of the quarry just south of Glenvale, that had supplied local farmers with raw agricultural lime. While the quarry site itself was above the main stem of the Petitcodiac, any effects on the quality of water discharged from that site as a consequence of such extraction didn’t have far to go before having an impact on the main stem. Meanwhile the availability of agricultural lime locally would have lowered the cost of using such soil amendments making doing so an attractive option that would have both increased both yields, and (likely) the total acreage allocated to agriculture. The fact that the Glenvale mine was in production for almost 50 years suggests that though Johnston (1851) saw little use of agricultural lime locally when he passed through, that the practice went on to be adopted to some degree. Rail access in the Village of Petitcodiac suggests that production from the mine may have also served markets beyond just the local demand.