Transcribed by Dennis J King 2014

Transcribers' commentary

This workbook was located in a private collection a few years ago by the late Paul Wroclawski of Nova Scotia, and posted by him at his Oak Island Theories website as a handwritten document. He asked the writer to transcribe it, which I have now completed (14 November 2014). Paul in fact posted two versions of the 1862/63 workbook at his website, and the version I have transcribed here is the longer and fuller version.

At first sight, the workbook is a somewhat uninteresting diary of the day-by-day work of the Oak Island Association as they excavated the Oak Island Money Pit in 1862/63 in search of its elusive treasure.

However, the workbook is in fact highly significant because:

1. It records that the Oak Island Association reached a depth of 111½ feet in the Money Pit on 19 January 1863, and with no mention of finding a flood-tunnel, they commenced a tunnel apparently from the bottom of the Money Pit. We glean from later in the diary that this was the first tunnel dug in search of the "drain" as the workbook calls it but which is now generally called "the flood-tunnel". The workbook does not say in which direction the Oak Island Association dug the tunnel from the bottom of the Money Pit, but as the Smiths Cove "box-drains" were about ENE from the Money Pit, it seems to be an irresistible inference that the Oak Island Association’s tunnel would have been dug in roughly an ENE direction when searching for the drain or flood-tunnel. We learn from the workbook entry for 30 January 1863 that the Oak Island Association’s tunnel had been cribbed for 12 feet, so that tunnel was a minimum of 12 feet in length by that date. On Thursday 12 February 1863 it was decided to commence a new pit at the shore to stop the "drain" (ie flood-tunnel), that is it seems the Oak Island Association had been unsuccessful in locating the flood-tunnel as at 12 February 1862. It will not have escaped our readers that the significance of these entries is this: The Oak Island Association dug a tunnel from the bottom of the Money Pit at 111½ feet depth of unknown length searching for the "drain” or flood-tunnel and obviously did not find it. Now, we know that the later Halifax Syndicate reportedly found the entrance to the "flood-tunnel" at about 110 feet depth in 1866 (see page 51, Harris & McPhie, 1st Edition), and the Oak Island Treasure Co supposedly rediscovered that flood-tunnel entrance at about 111 feet depth in 1897 (page 56, Harris & McPhie, 1st Edition). It seems a very plausible inference that the Halifax Syndicate in 1866 and the Oak Island Treasure Company in 1897 in fact only found the remains of the Oak Island Association’s tunnel of 1863 rather than the mythical "flood-tunnel".

2. The Oak Island Association’s shore pit was commenced on 13 February 1863. In the workbook entry for 11-14 March 1863, we learn the shore pit has been cribbed to 88 feet with no sign of the "drain" or flood-tunnel. On Saturday 21 March 1863, the Oak Island Association commenced a tunnel from the bottom of the shore pit to the south in search of the drain or flood-tunnel. On Monday 23 March 1863 we learn the diggers "found no drain". On Thursday 26 and Friday 27 March 1863 we learn the diggers found "no drain" after "very hard digging" in the shore pit. In the entry for Saturday 28 March 1863, we learn a tunnel was started in the shore pit at 67½ feet and tunnels also put north and south from 86½ feet in the shore pit, in all four tunnels in search of "drains" or flood-tunnels, without finding the latter. The diary is a little vague as to whether the "four tunnels" include the tunnel from the bottom of the Money Pit or whether the four tunnels were all dug from the shore pit in addition to the tunnel from the bottom of the Money Pit, but in any event the workbook has further significance in that it shows the Oak Island Association in 1862/63 made very considerable attempts to locate the alleged flood-tunnel without finding it. If the flood-tunnel allegedly found by the Halifax Syndicate in 1866 and by the Oak Island Treasure Co in 1897 actually existed, the earlier Oak Island Association could not have missed it seeing as they dug from a very similar depth in the Money Pit in 1863. Rather, it seems clear that the Halifax Syndicate in 1866 and the Oak Island Treasure Co in 1897 simply encountered the Oak Island Association’s tunnel at 111½ feet depth in the Money Pit and wrongly identified it as the "flood-tunnel". I know the alleged flood-tunnel entrance found in 1866 and rediscovered in 1897 was supposedly 4 feet high by 2 ½ feet wide and filled with "beach stones", whereas the Oak Island Association’s tunnel from the bottom of the Money Pit in 1863 had a bulkhead of 8 feet high (see entry for 19 January 1863), but consider this:

(a) It is now known that the soil at 103 ½ feet – 111 ½ feet depth on Oak Island, where the Association’s 1863 tunnel was located, is just below a layer of "Hard brown to grey clayey till with boulders" – see for example slide 47 of Les MacPhie’s Presentation to the Canadian Geotechnical Society, Southern Ontario Section, Sudbury Group, of 15 May 2007, copy online at,95.msg304.html#msg304 (last accessed 17 November 2014; please note this is a private website which you need to join to have access). We know from John Brown’s report on the Money Pit of January 1867 that well-made tunnels constructed at depth in the Money Pit only a few years before by a Mr Hill had already collapsed; it therefore seems reasonable to conclude that the Oak Island Association’s tunnel of 1863 from the bottom of the Money Pit would have already collapsed by 1866 depositing a mixture of clay and boulders from the layer above into their tunnel; when the Halifax Syndicate in 1866 and the Oak Island Treasure Co. in 1897 reached 110 – 111 feet in the Money Pit, the pressure of ground water at that depth would have washed out the clay quickly leaving only boulders or "beach stones" in the remains of the Association’s 1863 tunnel.

(b) The collapse of the Association’s 1863 tunnel would explain why its depth was only say 4 feet as opposed to its original 8 foot depth. We don’t know what width the 1863 tunnel was, but even if it was originally wider than 2 ½ feet, the flow of water through it when the 1866 and 1897 excavations reached that depth seemingly only required a width of 2 ½ feet to release the water pressure.

(c) Finally, I would repeat that if the "flood-tunnel" entrance found at 110 feet in 1866 and 111 feet depth in 1897 truly existed, then no matter what its dimensions, the Oak Island Assoctiation’s tunnel from 111 feet in the Money Pit could not have missed it. But as noted, the Oak Island Association never found the "flood-tunnel". When I refer to the flood-tunnel in the remainder of this commentary, I refer to a man-made water channel at depth designed to flood out treasure diggers when they got too close to the alleged "treasure". The flood-tunnel has been under attack as a mere myth for a long time now:

(i) John Brown’s report on the Oak Island Money Pit of 17 January 1867 (copy online at; last accessed 18 November 2014) was the first to say that the flood-tunnel was imaginary and the flooding of the Pit occurred by natural water seepage. Although the Brown report was briefly noted in a contemporary newspaper article, the full report was not publically available until posted to the internet in 2010.

(ii) Captain Bowdoin’s 1911 article in Collier’s Magazine was the next to say the flood-tunnel did not exist and the Pit flooded by natural water percolation through the ground (copy online at;size=100;id=mdp.39015016754973;q1=oak%20island;page=root;seq=269;num=71; last accessed 18 November 2014). In the same year of 1911, the Canadian geologist Rudolph Faribault also reportedly published a paper opining the Money Pit and its flooding was "but a freak of nature", i.e. the flood-tunnel did not exist and the flooding was a natural phenomenon.

(iii) Finally, Geologist Robert Dunfield, who conducted extensive excavations on Oak Island in 1965-66, recorded in his contemporary diary his conclusion the flood-tunnel did not exist and the flooding of the Pit occurred by natural ingress of sea-water through the Windsor limestone formation which underlies the Pit at about 140 feet depth. The relevant extracts from his diary only became publically available when they were posted to the internet in 2003, but unfortunately have since disappeared from the web. The recent discovery of the 1862/63 Workbook of the Oak Island Association and its publication here represents in my view the "final nail in the coffin" of the flood-tunnel. The flood-tunnel entrance found in 1866 and rediscovered in 1897 is in my view very likely the remains of a tunnel dug from the bottom of the Money Pit by the Oak Island Association in 1863.

Transcriber’s Notes

The workbook is handwritten and difficult to read. I use the following in the transcript: (?) means the preceding word is my best guess as to what the handwritten original says. [?] means the handwritten word in the original text is so unclear that I was unable to even hazard a guess and the word has been omitted altogether. [enclosing italicised words] are comments inserted by the transcriber. Where an abbreviation has been used in the original, I have usually (but not always) substituted the full word. Where a wrong spelling has been used, I have generally substituted the correct spelling.


Mr William Smith, Superintendent
Mr William Gormley, Financier, Furnishers and Committee of Management, Mr Samuel Tupper, Mr Robert Creelman, Mr C.S. Sterns, Superintendent and five others arrived per schooner "Good Intent" on Saturday evening

August 30, 1862 – two men who arrived two days before were making benches on which to roll up the boiler.

Monday September 1 1862 – all hands went to Frog Island for stuff to build a wharf.

Tuesday 2nd [September 1862] – four hands went to Mahone Bay for plank, other four at Frog Island–

Wednesday 3rd [September 1862] – brought raft of plank from Youngs Island between 5 and 9 o'clock this morning, Made an unsuccessful attempt to set up outer part of wharf. Then cleared a road of stones etc. At low tide this evening set up outer pier without difficulty–

Thursday 4th [September 1862], set the other piers, ballasted them and got up stringers. This evening a schooner arrived with 20 cauldrons (?) coal and 2225 bricks.

Friday 5th [September 1862] – landed good part of coal and brick on our raft and Tony’s boat.

Saturday 6th [September 1862] – landed remainder of coal and brick from schooner at the wharf, had the whole landed by 4½ pm [4.30 pm].

Sunday 7th [September 1862] – three men arrived from Margaret’s Bay with Mr Inglis’s whaler. Two remained to work.

Monday 8th [September 1862]. Two men repairing our old boat, most men on Frog Island, some preparing pit head.

Tuesday 9th [September 1862] – got pit head in and framework up, men on Frog Island getting out stuff for cribbing.

Saturday 13th [September 1862], up to this date nothing interesting occurs. Working in the pit, cutting, hewing, rafting and preparing cribbing – Mr Creelman’s horse was on Frog Island one week ending this date.

Monday 15th [September 1862] – schooner arrived this morning with boiler, part of engine, vats, etc. Landed boiler in afternoon.

Tuesday 16th [September 1862] – got boiler rolled up from wharf to house before noon. After noon got up other stuff. Pit crew still at work–

17th [September 1862] nothing new.

18th [September 1862] – pit cribbing would not settle

19th [September 1862] – wet, only worked half day.

Saturday 20th [September 1862], trying to force cribbing down. This evening piled about 5 ton of rocks to force it

Monday 22 [September 1862] cleared rocks from pit head and commenced cribbing from below – this evening Mr David Smith, engineer arrived by coach from Halifax

23rd [September 1862] – preparing place to set boiler, removing three old ones etc.

Wednesday 24th [September 1862] – this morning got down in the Money Pit to level of water, so had to stop sinking until engine is ready – had in 12 tier of cribbing from below when work stopped this evening

25, 26 [September 1862] building masonry in and around boiler, levelling bed plate. Got a load of stone from Rafuses (?) Cove, two men arrived from Yarmouth.

Saturday 27 [September 1862] shipped the three old boilers by same schooner that brought new one.

Thursday October 2nd [1862] – have been cleaning and fixing pumps for the last four days, other work about engine still progressing – had a small fire in the boiler today.

Friday 3rd [October 1862] – at half past 1 today started engine with 25 pounds steam. Made 140 strokes per minute, at which rate, pumps making 32 [presumably a reference to pumps making 32 strokes per minute, the 140 strokes referring to the steam piston]. Ran 40 minutes. Measured west pit yesterday – 27 feet to the water, 59 feet of water, making 86 feet to the mud, and 14 feet of mud to take out–

Saturday 4th [October 1862], started engine at 5 minutes to 12, with one pump steam at 45 [45 pounds per square inch?] which rose to 65 in one hour – making 140 strokes per minute – 8 minutes after starting, the water came over discharge pipe. 1 hour and 20 minutes after starting, the pump sucked, reduced speed of engine, ran three hours altogether – at 3pm commenced repairing tank and had it finished by half past 7.

Monday October 6th [1862], started engine at 9am with one pump, found that one pump would not lower the water to bottom of suction pipe and coupled on the other at about quarter past 12, which lowered the water in a few minutes to within 3 inches of bottom of pipe – superintendent went down with a man and cleaned out box at bottom of suction pipe which was full of stones and mud – engine ran until sundown, when preparations were made for lowering the pumps. Mr White left this morning for Yarmouth, Mr Wyman remained, Mr Murdock Sutherland left home (Pictou) yesterday, his daughter being dangerously ill–

Tuesday October 7th [1862] – this morning got pumps lowered to the mud, 14 feet, but did not get ready to start until sundown, so did not get up steam.

Wednesday 8th [October 1862] – started engine this morning at 5, first crew went into pit at 9 – engine stopped at 7 for three-quarters of an hour to fix pump [?], started again quarter to 8 – ran to about 7 in the evening. Men came out of pit half past 5, engine only ran afterwards to work off steam – Mr Mitchell here today, an hour or so.

Thursday 9th [October 1862] – started at 10 minutes to 5, men went down at 6, but could not get water low enough to send up much, superintendent and a man went down about 10 to take some off the bottom of box around suction pipe – to let pumps take off more water, water rose so they could not finish it – something wrong with pumps.

Friday 10th [October 1862] – started engine this morning at 5 – at half past 5 spindle of force pump of engine broke, 8am, stopped engine to repair it – pumped water into boiler and started again at 10 and a quarter [10.15 am], superintendent and a man went down and took a piece off suction pipe, which with bottom of frame, and box – that was around bottom of suction pipe – took until dark, after which lowered pumps to the mud–

Saturday 11th [October 1862] – took until 10 o'clock getting ready to start, putting on shackles, cutting and welding connecting rods, fixing discharge pipe – men went down half past 12, found pumps had been lowered too far and would not suck the water. Stopped engine at 2. Hoisted pumps 2 feet 8 inches, started again with one pump half past 4 – discovered that flywheel was loose. Superintendent and a man went down about 6pm to take a piece of wire netting off suction pipe, engine stopped at 7.

Monday 13th [October 1862] – lowered pumps two feet, cut and welded connecting rod, engineer fixing flywheel – started engine quarter to 11, with one pump which was out of repair and [?] the water very slowly, ran 15 minutes, when coupled on other pump, and found flywheel loose again – worked off steam and stopped quarter to 1 – engineer and a man left for Halifax this evening about 4 to get force pump of engine repaired–

Tuesday 14th [October 1862] – all hands idle on account of engineer being away with force pump of engine for repairs – Mr S Tupper, William Creelman, James McDonald Senior and Albert Flemming, left for home this morning–

Wednesday 15th [October 1862] – same as yesterday, nothing doing, engineer got back this evening after dark, with sundry fixings [the word "fixings” appears to be Nova Scotia dialect for what the rest of the English speaking world calls "repairs”].

Thursday 16th [October 1862] – engineer (?) fixing force pump of engine – Mr John P Johnson from Onslow and five men from Stewiacke arrived this evening–

Friday 17th [October 1862] – engine started this morning at 9½ o'clock [9.30 am] – before starting engine had to do sundry fixings – men rigging number 40 gin to work on Money Pit – men went down half past 11, and last crew came up half past 1. Midnight – engine ran an hour afterwards to work off steam. Stopped at half past 2 – would have worked all night but could not get second piece on suction pipe – put on first piece about 6 in the evening – Mr McLean arrived with horse–

Saturday 18 [October 1862] – started engine this morning at half past 7. Men went down half past 8, fixing boards (?) over spouts to lead down water, engine stopped 2pm. Lowered pumps 5½ feet – fixed connecting rods discharge pipe etc. – and started about 5 to see that the pumps had not been lowered too far, ran half an hour – blew all of the water out of the boiler at 6pm to examine it inside.

Monday 20th [October 1862] – examined and cleaned inside of boiler – gale blew down smoke pipe at 11am – got it up and commenced fixing at 12 – started engine quarter to 4, everything being cold it took longer than usual to get up steam – found something wrong with pumps – engine ran till 10pm but could not get water low enough for men to go down, thought pumps had been lowered too far.

Tuesday 21st [October 1862] – hoisted pumps 6 inches – started engine at 9 but found water coming very slowly. Stopped engine at 12, and commenced to hoist out pumps for repairs, had them up far enough – about 38 feet by sundown (?) – after which they got out one bucket and found pump packing completely [?] off–

Wednesday 22nd [October 1862] – got leather from Chester to pack buckets with. Hoisted out other bucket, got both packed and sundry other fixings done.

Thursday 23 [October 1862] – put on one bucket last night, the other this morning and commenced lowering pumps half past 9am – started engine at 2pm – both pumps going, engine 120, pumps 26 – lowered water 10 feet in five minutes – at about quarter to 4 water stopped suddenly, worked off steam, stopped engine at 5pm and hoisted pumps 2 feet.

Friday 24th [October 1862] – started engine at 10, both pumps working well, water came splendid, then went down half past 11 and mud came up rapidly until about 4pm, when pumps got chocked – two men opened small plate opposite discharge pipe valves and took out a stone [?] came stuck, which kept valves from working. Stopped engine at 5pm.

Saturday 25th [October 1862], started engine at 7am, water coming very slowly, almost none – ran 1½ hours – wrote to Mr Mitchell stating facts and requesting assistance. Hoisted pumps out of water to have them ready for his inspection.

Monday 27 [October 1862] – Mr McCully arrived yesterday – Mr William Smith and D Smith started this evening to Halifax with boxes of pumps to have new ones cast. Mr John Leedham arrived by mail from Halifax [presumably a reference to Mr Leedham arriving by mail boat].

Tuesday 28th [October 1862] – considered Mr Leedham’s proposal and accepted it unanimously. Messrs (?) Creelman, McCully, Gormley, Wyman and Sterns present – Mr Leedham to have charge of two pumps from this (?) forward – men on Frog Island getting out stuff for cribbing–

Saturday November 1st [1862] Mr William and D Smith got back this morning with new buckets for pumps and sundry other items – got buckets packed and into the cylinders–

Monday 3 [November 1862] engineer’s rule fell into pump and could not be got out until water lowered, waiting for which kept all hands idle 3 hours – commenced lowering pumps at noon, had them down by sundown, but thought best not to start until morning.

Tuesday November 4 1862 – started at 4am – with one pump, men went down at 9am and sent up mud until 12 midnight in 15 hours, when tub knocked off some boards – could not keep in light.

Wednesday 5th [November 1862] engine ran all night and till 5pm today when commenced lowering pumps–

Thursday 6th [November 1862] – got pumps ready and started engine 2pm – one pump only working – men went down at 7 – engine ran all night and mud came up well, this is the first night men worked all night–

Friday 7th [November 1862] – mud came up well until 2pm when water rose – and came on a terrible storm of rain, hail and sleet so could not work – but kept engine running all night–

Saturday November 8th [1862] – men went down at 8am – engine ran till 8pm–

Monday 10 [November 1862] – started engine at 2am – men went down 7½ [7.30 am] water not all out – at 9am water out, putting our piece of suction pipe, when discharge pipe burst – put three new hoops on but still leaking badly. Stopped engine at 10.

Tuesday 11 [November 1862] this morning commenced to hoist out pumps, to get both in good order and thoroughly hoop discharge pipe – got pumps up before sundown.

Wednesday 12 [November 1862] – getting out buckets – hooping discharge pipe etc.

Thursday 13 [November 1862] – commenced lowering pumps 10½ am.

Friday 14 [November 1862] – got pumps down and started engine 2pm – men went down at 5 and found that 2 feet of mud came in. Sent up mud till 12 midnight when a plank of cribbing started (?) and let in mud which choked pumps – engine ran till 8am Saturday morning when hoisted pumps 3 feet and started engine again at 11am – ran till dark 5pm.

Monday 17th [November 1862], started engine at 4am, men went into Money Pit at 7 – put men finishing cribbing of west pit–

Tuesday 18th [November 1862], worked all last night in Money Pit – engine ran all night – today worked same as yesterday.

Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22 [November 1862], engine ran this week from 4am Monday morning until 3pm Saturday without stopping, for part of the week men cribbing in west pit – men working night and day steady in Money Pit – put in about 4 feet of cribbing every day except Monday – measured Saturday evening 49 feet cribbed – blew off all water out of boiler Saturday afternoon (22nd) [November 1862] to clean inside–

24 November [1862] relined (?) inside of boiler, pumped in water, got up steam and started 5pm – a dark stormy night – men did not go down till 7am

Tuesday [25th November 1862] – getting out cribbing on Frog Island Monday.

25th [November 1862] – engine running since yesterday evening – work going on smoothly–

Wednesday 26th [November 1862] – pumps chocked about 2pm – engine stopped 2½ [2.30 pm]. Hoisted pumps 18 inches and started engine again 4pm – men did not have to stop in Money Pit – blasted and took out large rock.

Thursday 27 [November 1862] – all right. Friday 28 November 1862 – got raft from Frog Island this evening – this evening water first bothered men in Money Pit, about 60 feet cribbed. Men quit working 12 midnight – Saturday 29 [November 1862] working in west pit – cribbing etc. – quit about 5pm.

Monday December 1st [1862] – had to repair grate this morning before putting in fire, which took some time. Started engine 7am.

Tuesday 2nd [December 1862] engine running well.

Wednesday 3 [December 1862] – Messrs White and Wyman left for Yarmouth, Mr Flemming arrived – Mr Mitchell was here a few hours this evening–

Thursday 4th [December 1862] – filling up brush and earth round pit head–

Friday 5 [December 1862] – Mr Flemming condemned west pit as unsafe – engine ran till 4pm when blew off all water out of boiler – this afternoon put centre cribbing in Money Pit from bottom 60 feet till level of tide – also telegraphed to Mr Mitchell–

Saturday 6 [December 1862] – great storm of wind – JB McCully, D Smith and J Leedham started for Halifax this morning – too windy for men to work–

Monday 8 [December 1862] – got answer from McCully by telegraph, and hoisted pumps–

Tuesday 9 [December 1862] – commenced new pit.

Wednesday 10 [December 1862] – finished getting out pumps, and suction pipe, worked this night in new pit – D Smith returned this evening–

Thursday 11th [December 1862] – removing west pit head to new pit – cribbing, setting up gin etc.–

Friday 12th [December 1862] – crowd went to Frog Island for cribbing – took over horse in afternoon, did not work in pit last night – as pit head not ready – moved boiler today–

Saturday 13 [December 1862] – fixed pit head and got to work sending up mud – cribbed etc.

Monday 15th [December 1862] – Forbes left yesterday

Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 [December 1862] – pit work progressing – boiler placed – ash pit dug – pillars built underneath boiler etc.

Thursday 18th [December 1862] – shipped pump cylinders to Halifax to be bored out – building in boiler – pit progressing–

Friday 19 [December 1862] – Nelson and Brown left–

Saturday 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30 [December 1862]. Nothing particular happens. Backhouse finished masonry 30th [December 1862]. Got bed plate of engine moved into place with cylinders, pillars etc. all standing–

31st December [1862], got flywheel moved to its place–

1863 January 1st Thursday – D Smith went to Halifax – 2nd [January 1863] – Mr McLeod and Mr Sullivan left this evening – Mr Mason went to St Margaret’s Bay for his horse–

Saturday 3rd [January 1863] – nothing of note happens – progressing.

Monday 5 [January 1863], Mason returned with horse. Mr McDonald arrived from [?].

Tuesday 6 [January 1863], Mr Gormley left for Halifax – Mr Newcourt (?) came.

Wednesday 7, Thursday 8, Friday 9 [January 1863] – etc. etc. etc.

9th [January 1863] – received a letter from McCully saying that funds could be raised in Halifax more readily if Mr Flemming had charge of the work than if he was only an assistant – Mr Smith started to leave

Saturday 10th [January 1863] but missed the mail [boat], Flemming superintendent from this date.

Monday 12, Tuesday 13 [January 1863] – Mr Smith left Wednesday 14th [January 1863]. Gormley returned. Telegraphed to McCully

Monday [12 January 1863]. Struck a large rock in bottom of pit which took till Saturday 17th [January 1863] to get blasted through. Nothing else of interest happens. Alex Forbes struck John Fisher Friday morning December 5th [1862]. Fisher had a Constable on the Island to take Forbes on the evening of Saturday 13th [December 1862], Forbes hid and left for home Sunday 14th [December 1862]. On New Year’s Day [1863] Antony Greaves being drunk came up and was very anxious to raise a row, almost had a fight but got him home without much trouble.

Monday 19th January [1863], commenced tunnel this evening at 7pm having centre cribbing, bulkhead 8 feet high. Corner pieces and plank floors all in snug, pit 111½ feet.

Tuesday 20th January 1863. This evening bored 100 5/8 holes at end of suction pipe – fire in boiler.

Wednesday 21st [January 1863] tried Gilbert’s (?) horse on the gin, worked well.

Thursday 22 [January 1863]. R Creelman left.

Friday 23 [January 1863] connected suction pipe with bedplate etc.

Saturday 24 [January 1863] C Nelson and horse returned. Girl drowned in ice at Gold River. Getting pumps together etc. etc. Ran engine about half an hour.

26 [January 1863] lowering pumps etc.

Tuesday 27 [January 1863] all right–

Wednesday 28 [January 1863] ditto.

Thursday 29 [January 1863] stormy, did not work.

Friday 30th [January 1863] this morning at 3am while bailing water broke in the tunnel and rose faster than it used to in west pit – did not lower water in Money Pit for 24 hours after pump started. Believe we have tapped the main artery, tunnel 12 feet cribbed.

31st January [1863] fixing [?] in pit. Pump frame too short, finished drain to lead water from pumps–

February 2nd [1863] – pumps ran two hours – sundry fixings to be done–

Tuesday 3 [February 1863] started half past 3am. Ran all day except 2 hours stopped to fasten cog wheel–

Wednesday 4th [February 1863] ran all last night – today working smoothly–

Thursday 5th [February 1863] got a spout in the tunnel to lead off water and commenced to crib past it.

Friday 6th [February 1863] – at about 5am struck into a cave we thought was the Money Pit but was not. No water at first, but water soon left spout and came in ahead. Tried to clear out stuff as it ran in, got [?] [?] of cribbing in past the spout

Saturday 7th [February 1863] put up 2 bulkheads in the tunnel. Kept caving. Wayman and Weston arrived yesterday. [?] so that concluded to go down in the Money Pit – kept engine running. Sunday 8th [February 1863] engine running all day.

Monday 9th [February 1863] preparations making to go down in Money Pit – fixing railway to dig a drain to prevent surface water from running into pit at the shore.

Tuesday 10th [February 1863] cleaned mud out of bottom of pit. Stopped engine at 5pm to let it stand till we get cribbing for old Money Pit and more fuel–

Wednesday 11th [February 1863] got some new stringers from Frog Island for the wharf to replace those washed off by the storm of 6 December [1862]. Men working at cribbing etc.

Thursday 12th [February 1863] Mr Flemming left this morning – SC Fraser arrived last night. Held a meeting of all hands to see what was to be done – majority of favour of sinking a pit at the shore to stop the drain before going down Money Pit – DS McDonald unanimously chosen superintendent while the pit is being sunk.

Friday 13th [February 1863] commenced pit at the shore 6 feet X 4 [feet] – hauled a lot of brush to keep off wind and drift. Got down a gin (Kidd) and prepared a lot of cribbing–

Saturday 14th [February 1863] set up gin – levelled horse track, blew off all water out of boiler yesterday. D Smith left – also Mr JP Johnson.

Monday 16 [February 1863]. Milletts vessel arrived with coal – got 2 [?] feet of plank from Mahone Bay Saturday –

Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, Thursday 19, Friday 20 [February 1863]. Pit progressing as well as can be expected. Cribbed to 41 feet Friday evening–

Saturday 21st, Monday 23, Tuesday 24 [February 1863]. Water from old shore pit came in last night – bailed all day until Wednesday morning 25th [February 1863], men went down and cribbed what was dug.

26 [February 1863] about 4 feet blue clay at about 50 feet, afterwards very rocky.

Friday 27 [February 1863] – pit progressing slowly, so wet and rocky. 55 feet cribbed this evening

Saturday 28 [February 1863], March 1st, 2nd – right – 3rd [March 1863] commenced to lengthen pit, lengthened 2 feet 6 inches to the south.

4th, 5th, 6th [March 1863] quit working in pit 7pm.

Friday evening 6th, 7th [March 1863] – fixings to be done before starting engine, built shed over end of boiler etc.

March 9th [1863]. Started engine half past 5.

10th March [1863] engine running steady. Milletts vessel arrived to land brown coal – got to work in pit at shore 11 last night – very hard

11th, 12th, 13th, 14th [March 1863] – shore pit cribbed 88 feet, no sign of drain. Monday 16th [March 1863] commenced to hoist out pumps.

Tuesday 17 [March 1863] got pumps up at 12 noon, packed buckets etc. this afternoon.

Wednesday 18th [March 1863] lowering pumps and commenced to bail out shore pit–

Thursday 19th [March 1863] got pumps down – [?] fixed, rods cut and welded.

Friday 20 [March 1863]. Started pumps 8½ am, ran till 3pm, when hoisted them 17 inches, cut rods etc.–

Saturday 21st [March 1863] got to work in shore pit this morning at daylight, bailed out dry and put a platform 3 feet from bottom. Commenced a tunnel 7 feet X 4 to the south to strike the drain. Engine ran 2½ hours this morning–

March 23 [1863]. Thought we were in the neighbourhood of the drain in the tunnel Saturday night, so kept it bailed dry till Monday, started engine 4½ am and got to work but found no drain. Very hard digging

Tuesday 24th [March 1863] quit working in shore pit today – cleaning mud out of pump pit. Worked in shore pit Tuesday night.

Wednesday 25 [March 1863] got all the mud out of pump pit today and closed up tunnel – got to work again in shore pit by 3pm when stopped engine.

Thursday 26, Friday 27 [March 1863]. Very hard digging, found no drain.

Saturday 28th [March 1863] started new tunnel in shore pit last night in the south end at about 67½ feet from surface to bottom of tunnel – shore pit was 89½ feet cribbed – put tunnels one north other south at 86½ feet – 3 feet to bail in – each 7 feet high – another above that on south side and now the third. This last is in blue clay and if there is a drain it is most likely in that. In all four tunnels in search of drains.

Monday 30th [March 1863] – [the diary stops here].

Note: All unquoted material on these pages is © 2014 Dennis King. All rights reserved. Short excerpts may be used as long as proper credit is given and advance permission is obtained.