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The Antigonish Movement aided Reserve Mines in the mid-1930s when Father Jimmy Tompkins, Moses Coady and Mary E. Arnold helped the small town with education, housing and the first credit union. Reserve Mines is known for coal mining from 1860 to mid-1950 and the mines were called Dominion 5 and Dominion 10 Colliery. Later they were used for an airshaft and escape passage from Number 26 Colliery in Glace Bay.
Reserve Mines is also known as the home of harness racing grand circuit winner Lambert Todd with a lifetime mark of 2.02.1 in the early 1920s.
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