|Sis ,summer before 1st Birthday|
They had a Victrola and a hand operated wringer for the laundry . The future looked bright and shiny for them in a house that they loved . But news was travelling quickly that something big was coming up the line that would greatly change life as they knew it .
In 1948 , CPR men travelling the railway back and forth between Mattawa and Snake Creek noticed men around the LaCave Rapids . There was a small rough road from the early forwarding days on the Portage Route , which still gave people access to those first rapids north of Mattawa on the Ottawa River . It was generally used as access for Sunday picnicing and fishing . Now there were surveyors and drillers taking core samples , but no one could figure out what was happening . Speculation and worry spread quickly .
By 1949 , all knew what was happening . HEPCO (Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario) was going to dam the Ottawa River in the endless push to produce enough electricity to support post war growth and development ...especially for the southern cities whose populations were increasing rapidly with immigration and the birth of the 'Baby Boomer' generation . An agreement had been made between Ontario and Quebec to build six dams along the Ottawa River between the Capital and Mattawa . Three would fall under the control of Ontario and three of Quebec . Six places had been chosen where the River narrowed on it path through the Laurentian Mountains as sites for damming .
All of them were at major portage sites on the ancient trade routes that Algonquin and Odawa peoples had created .
Sites that explorers used to access the interior .
Places that aided Metis voyageurs carrying heavy packs of furs and cargo canoes to bypass the big rapids .
Locations where pikemen ran across jams to find the key that would unlock the chute for thousands of logs pressing forward with the River's flow .
Spots that steamboat passengers and cargo moved over to access the next navigable part of the Ottawa .
Trails that were travelled by colonists and prospectors heading into the North .
|The Sun sets on the River|
Now the nature of the River would be forever changed by this last boom . Ancient ground that absorbed the blood and sweat of hard labour for thousands of years would disappear in moments . Strangers would give the last blood and sweat forcing the River into submission in the name of progress .
The Souls of those gone would cry in anguish and the tears of people along its banks would flow freely .