|This beautiful piece of land first gained an international reputation during the 1861 gold rush at the Ovens. At the height of the gold rush, the Ovens supported a town of over a thousand miners, complete with hotels, stores and a bank.|
The majority of the land was once owned by the Cunard family, famous shipping magnates.
The Cunards, in the true entrepreneurial spirit of the day, used their resources to have
the entire beach dredged and loaded onto ships. The sand was then brought to England,
where it was processed in a plant designed for extracting the gold.
Luckily, the beach Cunard left us is still beautiful (but with a much lower gold content!)
While the buildings of that era are gone, remnants of the gold mining efforts can be found in many areas of the park. To maintain the spirit of those days, there is a small Gold Rush Museum filled with artifacts of the era. Visitors can also rent a gold pan and try their luck panning for gold on Cunard's Beach.
The Ovens Natural Park is also the home of Nova Scotia's oldest legend. The story has it that a M'kmaq Indian brave paddled his canoe into the mouth of Indian Cave and emerged at Cape Blomidon, some 90 miles to the northwest.
The more recent history of the Park is just as interesting. It was purchased by Angel Chapin. Family to the late folk singer Harry Chapin (of Cat's in the Cradle and Taxi fame), the Chapins play an active role in the running of the Park.