Henry Vyfvinkel

Henry Vyfvinkel was young Dutch immigrant who moved to Mariatown to work on the construction of the Seaway.





“I came to Canada in 1956 and I actually came to the town of Brockville.

And as a young immigrant, you try to get a new life going with all of the things that a person would like to have such as cars and, whatever, a good income. And I was only there for a few months and I learned that the better pay was on the Seaway over here where they move villages and they dug up all kinds of things. So I found a boarding house, a boarding family in the little town of Mariatown.

And being still a young immigrant out of the Netherlands it was actually very strange to me.

Anybody who knows the Dutch history, we reclaim land. Over here, they started to flood it.”


Henry Vyfvinkel

Henry Vyfvinkel was young Dutch immigrant who moved to Mariatown to work on the construction of the Seaway.





“I came to Canada in 1956 and I actually came to the town of Brockville.

And as a young immigrant, you try to get a new life going with all of the things that a person would like to have such as cars and, whatever, a good income. And I was only there for a few months and I learned that the better pay was on the Seaway over here where they move villages and they dug up all kinds of things. So I found a boarding house, a boarding family in the little town of Mariatown.

And being still a young immigrant out of the Netherlands it was actually very strange to me.

Anybody who knows the Dutch history, we reclaim land. Over here, they started to flood it.”



Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Joint interview with Juney and Henry Vyfvinkel, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Joint interview with Juney and Henry Vyfvinkel, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Joint interview with Juney and Henry Vyfvinkel, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Joint interview with Juney and Henry Vyfvinkel, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013

Summary

In this video Henry Vyfvinkel recalls how he landed a construction job on the Seaway after emigrating from Holland and how strange he found it that in Netherlands people re-claim land and here they were flooding it.

The Seaway created a construction boom in Eastern Ontario and Upstate New York. Thousands of workers congregated on the area attracted by plentiful work and high wages.

Bio

Henry Vyfvinkel was young Dutch immigrant to Canada. Originally settling in Brockville, Ontario he moved to Mariatown to take construction work on the Seaway. He met his future wife Juney there.

Henry and Juney moved to Brockville, Ontario where Henry was a pillar of the local arts community where besides his own painting work he established a fine arts teaching program that continues at St Lawrence College.

Henry passed away in 2014. 

Summary

In this video Henry Vyfvinkel recalls how he landed a construction job on the Seaway after emigrating from Holland and how strange he found it that in Netherlands people re-claim land and here they were flooding it.

The Seaway created a construction boom in Eastern Ontario and Upstate New York. Thousands of workers congregated on the area attracted by plentiful work and high wages.

Bio

Henry Vyfvinkel was young Dutch immigrant to Canada. Originally settling in Brockville, Ontario he moved to Mariatown to take construction work on the Seaway. He met his future wife Juney there.

Henry and Juney moved to Brockville, Ontario where Henry was a pillar of the local arts community where besides his own painting work he established a fine arts teaching program that continues at St Lawrence College.

Henry passed away in 2014. 



The Sunken Villages interviews give voice, sometimes for the first time, to the memories, emotions, experiences and reflections about what happened when the construction of the Seaway flooded the St Lawrence Valley. These first person accounts are reviving a history that has been officially ignored and largely forgotten.

July 1, 1958 is remembered as Inundation Day around Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY. At 08:00 a controlled explosion tore open a cofferdam. Four days later an area that had been home to 7,500 people disappeared under the waves of Lake St. Lawrence, part of the newly created St. Lawrence Seaway.

On the Canadian side, 12 communities, some dating back to the 1700s, were affected. Maple Grove, Mille Roches, Moulinette, Sheeks Island, Wales, Dickinson’s Landing, Farran’s Point and Aultsville were entirely destroyed. Iroquis was demolished and moved a mile to continue on in name. About half of Morrisburg – including its waterfront and most of its business district and main street – were levelled.

On the American side St Lawrence County in upstate New York was affected. Croil's Island, Louisville Landing, and Richards Landing ceased to exist, and parts of Waddington were dismantled.

The Sunken Villages interviews give voice, sometimes for the first time, to the memories, emotions, experiences and reflections about what happened when the construction of the Seaway flooded the St Lawrence Valley. These first person accounts are reviving a history that has been officially ignored and largely forgotten.

July 1, 1958 is remembered as Inundation Day around Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY. At 08:00 a controlled explosion tore open a cofferdam. Four days later an area that had been home to 7,500 people disappeared under the waves of Lake St. Lawrence, part of the newly created St. Lawrence Seaway.

On the Canadian side, 12 communities, some dating back to the 1700s, were affected. Maple Grove, Mille Roches, Moulinette, Sheeks Island, Wales, Dickinson’s Landing, Farran’s Point and Aultsville were entirely destroyed. Iroquis was demolished and moved a mile to continue on in name. About half of Morrisburg – including its waterfront and most of its business district and main street – were levelled.

On the American side St Lawrence County in upstate New York was affected. Croil's Island, Louisville Landing, and Richards Landing ceased to exist, and parts of Waddington were dismantled.