The Power of the Mississippi River Dam in Carleton Place

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1902 – The closed Carleton Place sawmills and upper Mississippi reserve dams of the Canada Lumber Company were bought by H. Brown & Sons for water conservation and power development uses.

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In 1909 Construction of a hydro electric power plant was begun by H. Brown & Sons at the former site of the Canada Lumber Company mills, after several years of preparation of the riverbed including tailrace excavation and building of a concrete millpond dam.

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In July of 1937 Carleton Place resident Lionel Bigras saved the life of 6-year-old Margaret Violet King, daughter of Mrs. Clifford King. Young Margaret fell into the Mississippi River near the hydro plant about 200 yards from the town bridge early in the afternoon. BIgras dived three times into 15 feet of water to bring the child to the surface. CPR was performed by Wilfrid Bigras, employee at the Hydro plant, a cousin of the rescuer. Doctors Johnson and James of Carleton Place took charge as soon as they arrived at the scene. The Carleton Place girl was brought to the Ottawa Civic hospital where she miraculously recovered from her experience. Sadly, her father Clifford King, had lost his life by drowning in the Mississippi Lake only a year previous. But sad to say, the story did not end there.

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Photos from Google Image and The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Tara Gesner, our beloved reporter from The Carleton Place Canadian, has sent me a picture of the medal that Wilfred Bigras received that day for saving the Margaret King’s life. Linda Gesner, her mother-in-law, still has the medal. Wilfred Bigras was Tara’s husband’s great great grandfather.  Thank you Tara for showing this to me!

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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