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Did you know, they used to check power lines on horseback?

In this edition of Remember This, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre looks back on the production of hydroelectricity
Northern Canada Power Company employees, early 20th Century. Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre:

Remarkably, mining camps and the burgeoning communities surrounding them enjoyed the modern convenience of electricity as early as 1911. Developers and investors were quick to recognize the importance of this vital hydro power infrastructure to support the massive scale of resource extraction in the region, and the Mattagami River was at the very centre of providing this essential supply. 

One of the first electrical generating systems in the area was built at Sandy Falls on the Mattagami River. The Porcupine Power Company received the contract to begin construction on Jan. 20, 1911. The station was producing power for the Hollinger Mine and associated townsite by June of that same year. The Wawaitin generating station, also on the Mattagami River, began operating in 1912.

Both stations were sold by the Hollinger Syndicate to the Northern Canada Power Company in 1912. 

By 1916, the Northern Canada Power Company had more than 50 kilometres of main and branch transmission lines in the district. Workers on horseback where tasked with inspecting and maintaining power lines in the early 20th Century, a juxtaposition of new technologies and traditional methods.

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at and look for more Remember This? columns here.