NSARM has a record for John MacPherson marriage to Betzy MacLeod in 1889 in Victoria County. He was from Little Narrows. There is a gypsum mine there now. Not sure if it was in operation in 1889.https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/ItemView.aspx?ImageFile=...
There is a McPherson family in Little Narrows in the 1881 census with a son John who is about the right age.
Good luck to your friend.
with regards, Anne MacLeod