“That was very interesting ‘cause I’m, like, 12. I was really looking forward to the move.
I was enthralled with the big Hartshorne mover thing that came. And you couldn’t believe – we just had these old stone basements and they would put holes in the basement, put the beams in.
And then you sat there with the beams there but you never knew what day you were moving. You don’t know when you’re moving. And they promised that nothing would get broken. And it didn’t. That was astounding if you’re little and you think people are moving your house. But you didn’t know when. That didn’t bother me so much; that really bothered my Mother to not know when you would move.
And then you would move and you hope that whoever got moved, the schools knew they moved. So, my school knew I moved. I got to the right home.
But the day we moved – and I never knew this – my brother who was in high school, he arrived at an empty basement. And being a guy, you know, he never spoke about it until he was maybe early 60s and he started to say how sad that was.
See, so for me, it was all exciting. I heard in the morning I was going; I went. You go to school and you come home to another place. You don’t stay in your own house.
When we moved we stayed in what were called halfway houses which had running water and bathtubs. In my village home, there was no running water, no bathtub, no indoor toilet. The halfway house had all these things. It was very exciting.”
Sally Grant, Interview Audio Excerpts, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013
Enthralled by the big movers. My brother came back to an empty basement. For me it was all exciting, the halfway house and running water.
The new school had a new smell.
I know the smell of the St Lawrence River. The Seaway project paid for my education with summer jobs.
It was a time when you didn’t complain and you just knew it was going to happen.
Video Excerpt: Sally Grant, Lost Villages Historical Society, LVHS Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013
In this video Sally Grant remembers the excitement of moving from her old house to a “half-way house” before moving into their home in Long Sault. She was realy excited about having running water and indoor plumbing. She also recounts a mix-up at school when her older brother was not told of the timing of the move and came home to an empty basement. He did not speak about this experience until he was in his early 60s.
Sally’s recollections about the Seaway are overwhelmingly positive. However, like for many others, there are mixed feelings about how this affected the lives of those in the Sunken Villages.
Sally Grant grew up in Mille Roches, Ontario.
She now lives in Cornwall, Ontario.