Isabel Hunter (née Paul)

In the 1950s Isabel Hunter lived with her children and husband Myles above the general store they managed in Wales, Ontario





“When Hydro went through we were only allowed … because it was to figure out what rent and we had never paid rent. We got free rent and this $45 a week and 10% off your groceries and free electricity.

So it was hard to know what they should settle on us and we got 300 and some dollars. That was all we got when Hydro went through.

And in the meantime they were buying out some of the farmers that were going to be flooded when Hoople Creek was enlarged. And this one, Myles went back to this farm on Saturday and came out and said, ‘I bought us a house.’ And I said, ‘With what?’ And he said, ‘With cash!’ And I said, ‘Well, it can’t be much of a house; it must be a chicken house!’ And he said, ‘No, I’m telling you, it’s a farmhouse. I got it for $150.’ And I just couldn’t believe it. We had that much in the bank.

And so, we had to move it. The thing was, where the house sat would be flooded there. So when they had their auction sale and sold their farm, and sold the animals and everything and the buildings. Meant you had only so long to get this house off of the property.

So there was Ardell, the mover, who wasn’t as big as the big ones that were moving the town. We hired him privately. And it cost us, I think, $750 to move the house across the farms. We didn’t go out on the road; we just got permission from all the farmers in between, up to Harold Robinsons who had a farm.

He wanted a colour TV and we needed a lot. So he sold Myles a lot for a colour TV. It was all bartering in those days.”


Isabel Hunter (née Paul)

In the 1950s Isabel Hunter lived with her children and husband Myles above the general store they managed in Wales, Ontario





“When Hydro went through we were only allowed … because it was to figure out what rent and we had never paid rent. We got free rent and this $45 a week and 10% off your groceries and free electricity.

So it was hard to know what they should settle on us and we got 300 and some dollars. That was all we got when Hydro went through.

And in the meantime they were buying out some of the farmers that were going to be flooded when Hoople Creek was enlarged. And this one, Myles went back to this farm on Saturday and came out and said, ‘I bought us a house.’ And I said, ‘With what?’ And he said, ‘With cash!’ And I said, ‘Well, it can’t be much of a house; it must be a chicken house!’ And he said, ‘No, I’m telling you, it’s a farmhouse. I got it for $150.’ And I just couldn’t believe it. We had that much in the bank.

And so, we had to move it. The thing was, where the house sat would be flooded there. So when they had their auction sale and sold their farm, and sold the animals and everything and the buildings. Meant you had only so long to get this house off of the property.

So there was Ardell, the mover, who wasn’t as big as the big ones that were moving the town. We hired him privately. And it cost us, I think, $750 to move the house across the farms. We didn’t go out on the road; we just got permission from all the farmers in between, up to Harold Robinsons who had a farm.

He wanted a colour TV and we needed a lot. So he sold Myles a lot for a colour TV. It was all bartering in those days.”



Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Isabel Hunter (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Isabel Hunter (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Isabel Hunter (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Isabel Hunter (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013

Summary

In this video Isabel Hunter talks about the money they received from Hydro Ontario, how they bought their new farmhouse off of land that was going to be flooded and then had to move it across several farms to its new location. Bartering was involved in many of the transactions.

Patricia O’Duffy (on camera left), Joan McEwan (centre) and Isabel Hunter (camera right), were interviewed together on August 22, 2013 at the Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse in Long Sault.

Bio

Isabel Hunter (née Paul) lived with her husband Myles and their children above the store they managed in Wales, Ontario. In her mid-thirties when the area was razed in advance of the flooding, Isabel is one of a few remaining people who experienced the changes wrought by the Seaway construction as an adult. For her family being able to salvage an old farm house, move it to a new location, and make that their new home was a marked improvement in her family’s circumstances.

She now lives in Ingleside, Ontario. 

Summary

In this video Isabel Hunter talks about the money they received from Hydro Ontario, how they bought their new farmhouse off of land that was going to be flooded and then had to move it across several farms to its new location. Bartering was involved in many of the transactions.

Patricia O’Duffy (on camera left), Joan McEwan (centre) and Isabel Hunter (camera right), were interviewed together on August 22, 2013 at the Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse in Long Sault.

Bio

Isabel Hunter (née Paul) lived with her husband Myles and their children above the store they managed in Wales, Ontario. In her mid-thirties when the area was razed in advance of the flooding, Isabel is one of a few remaining people who experienced the changes wrought by the Seaway construction as an adult. For her family being able to salvage an old farm house, move it to a new location, and make that their new home was a marked improvement in her family’s circumstances.

She now lives in Ingleside, Ontario. 



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