Steam Shovel along the St. Lawrence

Steam Shovel in Wales Ballast Pit
Queen’s University Archives, R. Maitland Hannaford albums V128-3

Taken in 1889, the steam shovel above is digging and loading rock for ballast on the Grand Trunk Railway in Wales, Ontario. Wales, however, no longer exists, except for divers in the St. Lawrence. In 1958, six villages and three hamlets were intentionally inundated as a result of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. The two new towns of Ingleside and Long Sault were created to house the nearly 6,500 displaced people, and some 530 buildings were moved. Many of the historic buildings that were moved created the Upper Canada Village site that same year.

In May of this same year, a news article recounts how a steam shovel in Wales working on the GTR track (very possibly the one pictured here) exploded, injuring three workers with flying shrapnel and scalding water.

Queen's Archives

Queen's Archives regular column on Kingstonist showcases our city's rich history via assets sourced from their vast collection. Their contributions stimulate dialog regarding the places, people and events that have shaped Kingston. Learn more about Queen's Archives...

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