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Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Chute Marine Railroad

What do you do when the grandkids come up from the city to visit? Even though we have an entire lake in our front yard, it just doesn't seem exciting enough....and you can only spend so much time helping Nana bake cookies or make minis.
The weather hasn't been all that cooperative but we must have picked the hottest day to see the Big Chute.

The Big Chute is Lock #44 in the 386km Trent-Severn Waterway that meanders across Ontario running from Georgian Bay eastward to the Bay of Quinte & from there to the St Lawrence River and out to the Altantic.

It is just a marvel of engineering, lifting boats an average height of 58 ft, crossing massive rocks as well as the road to deposit them safely on the other side.
Aboriginals, fur traders and lumber barons all used the Trent-Severn as a navigational passageway until in 1833 when the first lock was constructed.

While we stood and watched huge cabin cruisers and tiny seadoos being lifted out of the water and later set back into water on the other side, I wondered how our pioneers, newly brought out from the relative comfort of Europe, handled all the discomforts that their new lives in the wilds of Canada entailed.

Of course we had to stop for ice cream on the way home and I found three buildings that would lend themselves fabulously to being miniaturized. All were located in the small town of Coldwater; one was a grist mill that had been renovated into a resaurant;
one was a typical old time building, at one time bricked but later plastered over and the plaster was now on it's last legs.
The third building was the best of all. One side was covered with old signs and it reminded me of an old time store or gas station. I've been toying with the idea of creating a 1920s rural gas station ever since we went to an antique car auction several weeks ago.

What do you think?

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