“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 Interview Audio Excerpts (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013
Her husband bartering for and buying an old farm house so they could live move to their new land.
I can’t say I was ever lonely. There was always something going on in Wales.
Such few of the old people left. You feel like, lost. When people came to Wales you were an outsider for a long time.
Video Excerpt: Isabel Hunter (joint interview with Patricia O’Duffy & Joan McEwan), Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 22, 2013
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.
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.