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Waves pounding Nova Scotia's coast turn up mystery along the South Shore (2 photos)

'It's like a treasure trove, you never know what you're going to find,' said White Point Beach Resort's marketing manager Donna Hatt

People living near White Point Beach are trying to solve a mystery.

Two employees at White Point Beach Resort stumbled upon what they thought was an odd-looking rock Monday during the tidal surge. 

However, after staff held the 10-pound chunk, their hands were covered with soot and they realized Graham and Joey discovered a large lump of coal.

The resort's marketing manager said they are now doing research to see if it could be from a shipwreck.

"At first we thought, 'Could it have come from HMCS Magnificent from 1949 and just toppled ashore now?'" said Donna Hatt on The Rick Howe Show.

The light aircraft carrier ran aground in the area in June of that year.

Dalhousie University researcher and former navy commander Ken Hansen said it's not likely.  He said that ship would have been powered by a thick, marine diesel type of fuel.

Linda Rafuse at the Queens County Museum has told Hatt several ships went down off the coast in the late 1800s near White Point.

"We're starting to zero-in wondering if could it be the Fannie Stewart, a 70-ton schooner whose cargo was coal when she ran aground and sunk off of White Point on January 1st, 1861" said Hatt.

Another possibility is a vessel called "Virgin," which crashed and sank off Port Joli in 1845.

Several residents in the area have told resort employees they've discovered pieces of coal that have washed ashore over the years.

And Hatt said that's not the only relic found this week. Staff clearing away storm surge debris also found a shovel-shaped object.

"It almost looks like a gravy boat scoop, or some have said maybe it's a coal scoop for firing coal into a stove," she said.

"It's like a treasure trove, you never know what you're going to find."

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