George May, who as a Bell Telephone project engineer in the 1950s established the telephone infrastructure in Ingleside, Ontario, sets out what he sees as the pros and cons of St Lawrence Seaway project. Ingleside, originally called Town #1, was a brand-new clean-sheet ultra-modern place established to house the people from the communities of Aultsville, Farran's Point, Wales and Dickinson's Landing, all destroyed by the construction of the Seaway.
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.
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. 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