Well, as they say “what goes around comes around”. It was 155 years ago today that Shubenacadie Canal Lock Keeper Henry Findlay wrote the following Log entry – “Sutherlands commenced shingling flume house.”
The Flume House was the name given to the wooden building over the Turbine Chamber which housed the turbine that powered the Marine Rail system. The rail system carried boats, on an inclined plane, between the Harbour and Sullivans Pond. The turbine was powered by a flow of water from Sullivans Pond delivered through a large wooden flume.
At present, while it is hidden from view, work is under way down in the stone turbine chamber in preparation for the construction of a replica of the Flume House. It will be built this year and will be constructed over the very same stone chamber that was there in Henry’s time. This construction is part of the activities on the Canal Greenway site on Price Albert Road. Another feature, a life-size replica of the Marine Cradle on which the boats were transported between the Harbour and the Pond, was placed on site in October.
The passage of boat loads of materials up and down the inclined plane would have been a familiar sight for Dartmouthians in Henry’s time. I am sure that he never imagined that 155 years later Dartmouthians would, once again, be about to “commence shingling the flume house”.
– Bernie Hart