Davis MacIntyre & Associates conducted an archaeological resource impact assessment on the Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Centre in 2012.


Investigative Stage


Background Research:

A mill was built in the area in the 1840s by Alexander Sinclair. After his death in the 1870s, the mill and property was sold to a group of businessmen from Halifax, although Sinclair's sons appear to have continued to operate the mill. After the mill changed hands, there was a dramatic increase in the production scale of the mill. A network of outbuildings and infrastructure was built including a manager's house, barns, sheds, a blacksmith and a cook house/boarding house. By the 1880s, the area was home to numerous labourers, a hotelkeeper and two blacksmiths and it is estimated that approximately 300 people lived and worked in the area. However by the 1890s, the mill suffered from large debts and sat idle while it passed through several owners. Gold mining was attempted in this area in the early 20th century. In the late 19th and early 20th century, there appears to have been only one Mi'kmaq family living in the Liscomb area, the Lonecloud family. They kept a garden, hunted and fished, smoked meat in a smokehouse by the river, made baskets and moccasins, and acted as guides for American tourists to the area.


Field Reconnaissance:

In total, eight areas of elevated archaeological potential were identified during the reconnaissance of the study area. These areas included two cellars found in wooded areas. White refined earthenware was observed in a tree fall in the vicinity of one of the cellars.


Archaeological Testing:

Shovel testing was conducted at some of the heightened potential areas identified in the background research and field reconnaissance. 

1890s photograph of the mill manager's house at Liscomb (Courtesy Ruth Legge)

 

The Lonecloud family in front of their cabin (Courtesy Ruth Legge)

The mill manager's house and assorted outbuildings in a photograph which post-dates the dismantling of the mill (Courtesy Ruth Legge)

Archaeologist Stephen Davis examining a cellar found during field reconnaissance. The cellar is heavily wooded and covered by a tree fall where white refined earthenware was noted.

The mill cookhouse and boarding house (Courtesy Ruth Legge)

Shovel testing along a baseline at an area of heightened potential.