7.31.2012

Eugenia

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Hello again explorers,

We here at UrbEx Barrie need to get down to planning our autumn trips before the snow flies.  The 'exploring' season is not over and we've just come back from a quick day trip out to nearby Eugenia as we've heard there was not only some natural beauty to photograph but also the hulk of an old abandoned mill or generating station from the turn of the century.  Let's have a looky-loo of what we saw . . .



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Eugenia is a small community just north of Flesherton, Ontario
 




The community is best known for Lake Eugenia and Eugenia Falls as well as the Beaver River. The settlement of Eugenia began in the 1850s and continued to expand through to the 1880s to reach a total of about 200. Early visitors were attracted to the area by a large water falls, Eugenia Falls. Prospectors were also attracted for the chance to get rich by panning for gold. After a fair sized gold rush, it was discovered that the "gold" was in fact pyrite, or fool's gold.

 

First explored by a pioneer named Brownlee in 1853 who had come across the falls by accident while hunting.  Brownlee with a neighbour returned latter and discovered gold which in fact was worthless pyrite (or fool's gold).  Within a few weeks, a very short-lived proper 'gold rush' was on with dissapointments to all who endeavoured in this venture.



In 1895, William Hogg (originally from Hogg's Hallow near Toronto), had developed a small hydro electric plant which supplied electricity to Eugenia and Flesherton (approx. 5 miles to the south).  The plant contained two turbine units generating approx. 40 horsepower driving a single generator.  By 1915, a much larger plant, located a short distance away and rated for 4,500 horsepower was constructed and within a short time with several upgrades by engineer H. G. Acres, was supplying elctricity to Collingwood, Owen Sound to the north and Mount Forest and Grand Valley to the south.


This hydro electric station was officially opened on November 18, 1915 by Sir Adam Beck who was the Hydro-Electric Power Commission's first Chairman.  Most notably, the Eugenia station has the highest head of all hydraulic stations.
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