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The community was originally named "Springhill Mines." Coal mining lead to economic growth, with its incorporation as a town in 1889. All coal mining ceased in the area by the early 1970s and Springhill entered an economic decline, culminating in the decision to dissolve as a town in 2015, and merge into the Municipality of the County of Cumberland .

The community is famous for both the Springhill Mining Disaster and being the childhood home of international recording star Anne Murray , who is honoured by the Anne Murray Centre , a popular local tourist attraction.

Springhill is located on the northwestern edge of the Cobequid Hills midway between the Minas Basin and the Northumberland Strait . The elevation in this area varies from 140 to 185 metres (459 to 607 ft) above sea level. [ citation needed ] Located in the carboniferous area on the southern side of the Cumberland Coal Basin, Springhill's six main coal seams overlap. The seams, separated by strata of sandstone and shale from 11–110 metres in thickness, were once horizontal, but, because they were raised by internal earth movement, now slope sharply down into the earth. The seams dip to the northwest at an angle of thirty-five degrees.