April 15, 2013 - What Lies Beneath: Cantley before the great flood

(Presentation by Marc Cockburn - sponsored by Gatineau Valley Historical Society, Cantley 1889, La Grange de la Gatineau)

More than 110 people from Cantley, and their neighbours from across the river, visited La Grange de la Gatineau to experience an amazing journey through time.

After an optional walk along the Gatineau's shores, the audience travelled on a virtual journey with Marc Cockburn through the history of the Gatineau River. Marc Cockburn, president of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS), used Google Earth and archival photos and maps to reconstruct how the river looked before much of its natural and built environment was flooded in 1927 with the construction of the hydro dams at Chelsea and Farmer's Rapids. By sharing stories based on his extensive research and on river lore, and with his technical wizardry, he brought to life this relatively unknown and forgotten piece of our history. His imaginative presentation transported everyone back in time, and along the length of the Gatineau from the dams near the southern boundary of Cantley north to Wakefield.

After the presentation, attendees enjoyed the displays of logging artifacts and a fascinating map of the Gatineau River 'before and after the flood'... and, of course, socializing over home-made refreshments, courtesy of Cantley 1889 and La Grange de la Gatineau.

"I will now be in awe when I paddle these waters"... "we certainly see the river in a whole new way and are anxious to explore"... "this was the best presentation I have ever attended, and I have attended many"... were just some of the many positive comments shared afterwards.

Those lucky enough to take part in this memorable evening now have an understanding of the rich history of our section of the Gatineau River and, when enjoying its waters, will surely feel the mysteries of "what lies beneath".

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