The Hanson Quarry, near St. George, is like a number of other turn of the century rock quarries in southwestern New Brunswick. It is grown over with native vegetation and has blended back into the landscape, but this quarry is distinctive in its role in the story of one of the greatest sea-based tragedies of our past: the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April of 1912.
For over 2 decades, Dr. Barry Clarke, a geologist from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, tried to establish the origin of the 120+ headstones placed by the Titanic’s owner, the White Star Line, on the graves of victims who were brought to Halifax. Years of geological sleuthing brought the search to an end at the Hanson Quarry. A representative of the archeological branch of the province’s Department of Tourism and Heritage brought the news to J.D. Irving, Limited’s Conservation Program coordinator, as the company is now the current owner of the forestland in which the quarry lays. After a thorough survey by heritage staff and local geologists in late fall of 2017, the site is now provided a respectful buffer from our forestry operations. Our Historic Sites category within our Conservation Program has expanded from a mere 71 sites to over 122 in 2019, owing largely to locals and others reaching out to our company, informing us of “back forty” grave sites and other places of significance.