You’d think it was Dominion Day
January 22, 2015 5:52 AM   Subscribe

A presentation about Ontario's lost villages, ten communities which were flooded as part of the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1958.
posted by frimble (10 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Locally, a similar thing happened to the town of Osborn, Ohio. In the early 1920's, the whole town relocated next to old rival Fairfield to make way for a flood control dam. They merged into the single city of Fairborn in 1950.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:07 AM on January 22, 2015

Maryland, and the vanishing of old Conowingo.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:45 AM on January 22, 2015

Here in central Indiana, the town of Germantown lies at the bottom of Geist Reservoir, built in 1943. My dad used to take us fishing there back in the 60's, before it became overgrown with McMansions (and actual mansions.) You used to be able to get maps that showed the location of Germantown, including roads and a few buildings.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:06 AM on January 22, 2015

Ottawa aerial photographer Louis Helbig did a series of photos of the sunken cities.
If you go to this now unlinked page from his web site, the first picture there is Downtown Aultsville N 44.57.15 W 75.01.42 Aultsville Ontario Canada. I am happy to say I have a print of that up on my walls. :)
Scroll West in the post's site to find the Aultsville video.

Thanks for posting this, I had read about the cities a bit before but I love oral histories of people from the cities.
posted by Theta States at 9:31 AM on January 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I should also say I read that in Aultsville, and perhaps other cities, many of the abandoned buildings were set on fire by authorities to "Test the effects of fire on buildings".
posted by Theta States at 9:33 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Admit it, given any legal justification whatsoever you and I both would test the effects of fire on buildings.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:43 AM on January 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Rural Ontario Trivia: the popular tourist heritage park Upper Canada Village was mostly reconstructed from buildings moved there by the Seaway project in the late 1950's. They don't exactly hide this fact, but it's not quite common knowledge either, it's in the fine print. Also, I'd recommend a visit if you are interested in this sort of thing, the Victorian-era art and technology are really fascinating.
posted by ovvl at 10:53 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

This happened along the Columbia River as well. You can swim in the lake, and it's a very uneasy feeling to know how many homesites are in the water below you.
posted by smasuch at 2:19 PM on January 22, 2015

many of the abandoned buildings were set on fire by authorities

I would say this is fairly routine. In my city, which has occasional blight removal, the fire department is frequently given "last crack" at a building; right now they're clearing 12 properties for a new fire station, and many of the homes have been used for training exercises, like this one right next to the old station. (Unrelatedly, I've been watching a number of fire training videos the last few days, and it really is that important. Example.) Everything from ladder or hose technique to mutual aid communication between different units from surrounding communities is something that can make a difference when fighting a real fire.
posted by dhartung at 6:24 PM on January 22, 2015

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