In this short video: Emma Hollingsworth (nee Ellis) recounts how her uncle was a member of the committee that witnessed the opening of the graves before they were moved. Those coffins that were to be left in the graves during the flooding were rip-rapped - covered with heavy stones.
The Sunken Villages exhibition features imagery – from the air and through the water – of Canadian and American communities flooded by the St Lawrence Seaway combined with the voices of people affected by the Inundation.
In these interviews individuals give voice, sometimes for the first time, to their memories, feelings, observations and ideas about what happened to them and their communities. They are, with their own words, bringing back a history that has until now been largely forgotten and ignored.
In Canada, ten communities disappeared with the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s. An eleventh was destroyed and moved to continue on in name. A twelfth was truncated. In the United States two communities, Louisville Landing and Richard Landing, disappeared and two, Massena and Waddington NY were affected. An area, home to 7500 people in Canada and the United States, was flooded under the waves of Lake St. Lawrence.
The recent invasion of zebra mussels in the St. Lawrence Seaway has cleared the water, and made these forgotten, lost villages visible once more.
Art can reflect who we were and who we are. It can help us tell ourselves the stories – the history – that define us.
For more information, visit: sunkenvillages.com