Discover Waverley, Nova Scotia: A Rich History and Vibrant Community
Waverley, Nova Scotia, is a suburban community nestled within the Halifax Regional Municipality in Canada. Known for its rich history in gold mining, Waverley lies north of Dartmouth and south of Fall River.
The Historical Roots of Waverley, Nova Scotia
Waverley was first settled by Charles Pillsbury Allen, who established a chair factory in the area. The community was named after the Waverley novels by Sir Walter Scott. Allen's original land purchase in 1847 included about 700 acres of land for the price of 50 pounds. His original house, despite extensive renovations, still stands today at 2550 Rocky Lake Drive as "An Olde Manor House Bed and Breakfast" near the junction of Lakes Thomas and William. A nearby high school, Charles P. Allen High School in the neighbouring town of Bedford, carries his name.
Allen's son-in-law, Cornelius Blois, is often credited with discovering gold in Waverley. Two major gold mining periods ensued between 1861 through the early 20th century, transforming Waverley into a boom town. A third attempt to restart the gold industry occurred in the 1930s, but it proved unprofitable. Other industries in Waverley have included millworking and forestry. The Shubenacadie Canal system runs through Waverley, between Lake William and Lake Thomas.
Demographics of Waverley, Nova Scotia
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Waverley had a population of 858 living in 360 of its 373 total private dwellings, a change of 5.5% from its 2016 population of 813. With a land area of 2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi), it had a population density of 295.9/km2 (766.3/sq mi) in 2021.
Modern Waverley, Nova Scotia and Its Landmarks
Modern-day Waverley is primarily a bedroom community. Major landmarks include an elementary school, a post office, the Waverley Manor retirement home, the Waverley Heritage Museum, Charles P. Allen House, and the Waverley Gold Mining Manager's House. The community also hosts the Nova Scotia Firefighters School and the Cheema Aquatic Club, a canoe and kayak club known for producing high caliber National and Olympic Team athletes.
Celebrating Gold Rush Days in Waverley, Nova Scotia
Each Labour Day weekend, Waverley holds a celebration at a park known as "The Village Green" called 'Gold Rush Days', to commemorate its gold-mining history. Highlights include the Gold Rush Days Parade, karaoke, an arts and crafts show, fireworks, and the Miss Waverley Gold Rush contest.
Meet Gold Rush Gus: The Mascot of Waverley, Nova Scotia's Gold Rush Days
The mascot of Gold Rush Days is a cartoon character resembling Yosemite Sam called "Gold Rush Gus". Until the amalgamation of Waverley into the HRM in 1996, all fire apparatus of the Waverley Fire Department had a picture of him painted on the side. WFD vehicles also had the distinction of being the only ones in the local fire district at the time of being painted yellow; an homage to the village's gold mining history.
Halifax Regional Search and Rescue: Originating in Waverley, Nova Scotia
Waverley is the original home of Halifax Regional Search and Rescue. On September 3, 1998, the organisation undertook the largest Mutual Aid Search operation in Nova Scotia's history. With the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Search and Rescue was charged with primary responsibility for all ground operations. The current headquarters of HRSR is located at 116 Lakeview Rd in the nearby community of Lakeview.