HIGH FALLS ONTARIO
High Falls is located on the Spanish River just below where Agnew Lake
empties into the river. It was founded about 1904. Construction of the first hydro-electric generating
plant (High Falls #1) was begun on June 1,1904.
High Falls #1 Generating Station
The above picture was taken in the late summer of 1955. At the lower left you see two of the white
houses that were typical of the fifteen houses that made up the village. There were various styles and
sizes, but all were of wood frame construction with clap board siding. In 1955 few had central heating
and little insulation. Most houses were heated by coal/wood stoves and oil burning space heaters. The
red out-building in front of the two houses was a wood storage shed, later converted to workshops as wood
was phased out as a fuel. The large reddish building in the centre was originally the school until it was
replace in 1951 by a modern structure (see photo below). It was still used as church and community hall until being torn down
in the early 1960's. (This marked the beginning of the end for the town). The small building to the right
was the "rink shack", heated by a wood stove and used for skate changing at the ice rink. This was a favorite
winter hangout for the kids.
The hamlet of High Falls covered in a wet early winter snow fall. This view, from the road as it approaches the old
town site, gives a good idea of the layout of the place. The more modern building, prominent in the fore-ground,
is the old school. This was SS#4b Drury, a sub-school, one room with eight grades. For anyone nostalgic for
the old days, I can assure you this was not the place to get the best education. For me, the best thing
about it was the fact I could see it from my bedroom widow. This permitted me to check to see if the furnace
was working. Nothing from the chimney on a winter morning might mean a day off! By the time of this
photo, it had been closed with the kids being bussed to Nairn Centre.
The transmission lines from the three generating plants are also prominent.
All of these building are now gone, as is the view. This area had always been cut down to reduce the
mosquito numbers in the summer (a futile effort). Now it is totally grown up and the small white spruce
in the front left is now a 15 meter tall mature tree.