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Power of hard work helped build Big Chute infrastructure

Dam was completed in 1910, followed by power plant, machine shop, blacksmith shop, boarding house and marine railway

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

Standing on a dock on the Severn River near the Big Chute power plant, these unknown workmen are enjoying a break while perhaps waiting for a boat to transport them to another area.

Four of the men are clowning around, one holding a large whiskey bottle pretending to pour it into a wooden bucket while two others have small cups waiting to be filled.

There was a lot of work for these men at the Big Chute during these times. The power dam was completed in 1910 and the power house completed shortly after. A machine shop and blacksmith shop and a boarding house were also built there and the first marine railway was built shortly after this photo was taken in 1915.

Originally owned by a private company called the Simcoe Railway and Power Company, the plant was purchased by the Hydro Electric Power Commission in 1914.

In 1917, under the capable direction of plant superintendent Peter Ritchie, the power plant was expanded by adding a new 1,600 KW generator to the original installation of two 400 KW generators.