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Exhibits include the geological history of the Joggins Cliffs, the history of scientific discovery at Joggins, and how area coal mining affected the community. Geologists were first attracted to this locality in the late 1820s with Abraham Gesner, Richard Brown, Thomas Jackson and Francis Alger all making important observations.
However, the true fame of Joggins dates to the mid-nineteenth century and the visits in 18 by Charles Lyell, the founder of modern geology and author of Principles of Geology.
The fossils consist mainly of ferns, prehistoric trees and early sea life.
The daily high tide erodes the cliff, the stone fossils fall out of the coal and are left on the shore when the tide recedes.
French-speaking Acadians returned from New Brunswick, and were joined by Irish and Scottish immigrants.
Joggins Mines expanded rapidly to include three churches, two cemeteries, a hotel, a roller ring, movie theater, fire department, general store, post office, railway station and school.
In 2008, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs were designated as a UNESCO natural heritage site.
On July 7, 2008 a 15-km length of the coast constituting the Joggins Fossil Cliffs was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List.The first commercial mine was set up by Major Henry Cope in 1731, but was destroyed by the Mi'kmaq in November 1732.Samuel Mc Cully opened a mine in 1819 with much of his production being shipped by sea to Saint John, New Brunswick and other markets, but went out of business in 1821 having mined less than 600 tons.Situated on the Cumberland Basin, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy, Joggins was a long established coal mining area.Its coal seams which are exposed along the shore of the Cumberland Basin were exploited as early as 1686 by local Acadian settlers and by the British garrison at Annapolis Royal in 1715.
The high tides have shaped the landscape into one of singular beauty; pristine beaches, dramatic rock outcrops, sea cliffs, waterfalls, and rugged forests.