Stephen Layton

Stephen Layton grew up in Cornwall, Ontario.





“I mentioned when they blew the cofferdams in 1958 – I believe it was in July but I’m not sure of the exact date.

But I happened to be in bed that morning, I was sleeping in. And so I would’ve been… what, ’58? I would’ve been 9 years old, right? And I heard the whoomp. And you could feel it! You know, it wasn’t like… and it wasn’t like a very minor earthquake.

And you sort of, Ah! They’re blowing the cofferdams. So it was a… It was kind of an exciting moment. There was no negative – it was more positive than negative because it was exciting.

But I remember that moment. It was just, oh yeah! Quite the moment. That was the time it happened.”


Stephen Layton

Stephen Layton grew up in Cornwall, Ontario.





“I mentioned when they blew the cofferdams in 1958 – I believe it was in July but I’m not sure of the exact date.

But I happened to be in bed that morning, I was sleeping in. And so I would’ve been… what, ’58? I would’ve been 9 years old, right? And I heard the whoomp. And you could feel it! You know, it wasn’t like… and it wasn’t like a very minor earthquake.

And you sort of, Ah! They’re blowing the cofferdams. So it was a… It was kind of an exciting moment. There was no negative – it was more positive than negative because it was exciting.

But I remember that moment. It was just, oh yeah! Quite the moment. That was the time it happened.”



Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Stephen Layton, Ottawa Ontario. August 23, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Stephen Layton, Ottawa Ontario. August 23, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Stephen Layton, Ottawa Ontario. August 23, 2013

Video Interview



Video Excerpt: Stephen Layton, Ottawa Ontario. August 23, 2013

Summary

In this video clip Stephen Layton of Cornwall recalls how as a 10 year old he remembers feeling the cofferdam explosion while still in bed.

The construction of the Seaway loomed large in the lives of those living anywhere in Eastern Ontario. It particularly filled the imagination of children.

Bio

Jim Brownell grew up in Cornwall, Ontario.

He now lives Ottawa, Ontario. 

Summary

In this video clip Stephen Layton of Cornwall recalls how as a 10 year old he remembers feeling the cofferdam explosion while still in bed.

The construction of the Seaway loomed large in the lives of those living anywhere in Eastern Ontario. It particularly filled the imagination of children.

Bio

Jim Brownell grew up in Cornwall, Ontario.

He now lives Ottawa, 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 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.