Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 57/August 26th – Ocean Falls

Amazing place to check out.

Woke up, had breaky at the Darke Waters Inn, and took account of where we were… Ocean Falls used to be a bustling mill-town with a population of 5,000 residents.  Now, full-time inhabitants number 25 people.  Somewhat of a collapse you might say…. 

In 1906, when the mill was getting established, they built a dam and hydro-electric plant to supply the pulp-mill with all it’s full power demand.  Thirteen MegaWatts in total.  After the mill shut-down completely in 1980, the power generation facility eventually became the main source of power for the towns of Bella Bella and Shearwater.  Now, in the winter-time, demand sits at about 3 MegaWatts… roughly 25% of the hydro-electric plant’s capacity!

Several huge empty buildings remain standing (for now), and other smaller ones are now used by residents.  Alistair works for Boralex, the current owners of the hydro-electric plant, so we got a full tour of the facility and the town by some of his colleagues.  Those tours, combined with our own wandering around in amazement led to a fascinating day of exploration!


Workshop where the old paper-mill was.  Currently houses shop space which is used by about five people.


Nearly Normal Norman showed us the boat shed, with a complete marine ways tha is now a place to stow toys and work on the odd project.


Norman also showed us the “museum”.  A huge collection of stuff that he had found over the years while rooting through the rubble of buildings that used to make up the town.

We explored some of the bigger old buildings.  Here’s a mix of what we found.


Elevator was down for repairs, so we took the stairs up. ;)

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Here’s an exclusive view from on top of the dam. Work was being done on the large concrete wall in the bottom-left, just building it up and renewing the exterior cement.


Inside the power-plant. Only two of the smaller turbines were running at the time.IMG_4088 IMG_4090 IMG_4093 IMG_4095

Coolest looking breakers I’ve ever seen.


Another old building where the old water-driven machinery was housed.

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