LEE A. WOOD
2019/03/21 - Exactly thirty years ago, the first time I saw Stave Lake there was a trestle to carry traffic across the top of the dam.
On the western end of the trestle was a town with a building along the main street that had a large neon sign.
The sign said `Border Town Theatre'.
It wasn't a real theatre and it wasn't a real town.
Many people saw the sign and thought this was the set for the TV series `Bordertown`.
But, no. That set was many miles to the West.
This set was for the feature `We're No Angles'.
I played one of the prison guards
Though I was up top for some three months I never realized that there used to be another, temporary, town at the base of the dam.
A PARKING LOT, WHERE BUNKHOUSES ONCE STOOD
THE TOP OF A TRANSMISSION TOWER
A BLOCK AND A GRAPLE FROM A YARDER
THE BRIDGE TO THE TOWN SITE
THIS IS NOT THE BRIDGE ON THE SIGN
YOU CAN STILL WALK TO THE OLD TOWN SITE
Though not permanent, the little town at Stave Falls was a little more substantial than the movie set.
It was designed to house the workers, and their families, for the five years it would take to build the power station.
The name `Stave' comes from the fact that there used to be a man who lived in the area and he made staves.
Staves are used to make wooden barrels.
To see this in real life, visit the Ft. Langley museum and you will see a person making staves and barrels.
THE OLD POWERHOUSE WITH FIVE GENERATORS
YOU CAN JUST SEE THE TOP OF THE NEW POWERHOUSE
ONLY TWO GENERATORS BUT TWICE THE OUTPUT
THERE USED TO BE FIVE OF THESE ERECTOR SETS
THOUGH DECORATIVE THE SHAPES OF THE FRONT
ACTUALLY ADDED STRENGTH TO THE STRUCTURE
INFORMATION, SNACK, SOUVENIRS, AND TICKETS
When you enter the Power House that is now a museum you enter the foyer where you can buy your ticket, or some snacks, and meet the curator.
Janis has been with the museum for sixteen years.
You could say she was born into the job.
Her family lived in one of the non employee houses above the dam, her father was a logger.
However her grandparents lived in the town, her grandfather helped build the dam and the power house.
As you might imagine Janis is a friendly font of information.
She might not know the diameter of Neptune but when it comes the powerhouse, ask her anything that comes to mind.
The next step on our tour is the Hayward Theatre where you get to enjoy a short film describing the site and its history.
Beyond that are many informative and interesting displays, including some scientific games for the children.
HERE YOU CAN SEE THE OLD POWERHOUSE AND SPILLWAY
AND THE NEW POWERHOUSE AND SPILLWAY
WARNING SYMBOL ON THE RIGHT
MANY OF THESE DISPLAYS HAVE BUTTONS FOR YOU TO PUSH
CAN YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS DOES?
MANY HANDS-ON PROJECTS
FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND EDUCATION
LOOKING DOWN ON GENERATOR HALL
NOTE - THE GENERATOR ON THE RIGHT HAS BEEN CUT OPEN
POWERHOUSE CONTROL PANEL
BUNKHOUSES WHERE THE PARKING LOT SITS TODAY
THE WORLD'S SHORTEST RAILWAY
Let's say you want to build a dam to generate electricity to feed the hungry maw of the growing towns in the Fraser Valley.
After the surveyors map out a suitable water shed and the engineers design the structure the first step is to clear out all those pesky trees.
Once you have a trail cleared it is easier to get the logs down to the sawmill.
Putting a railroad down the trial makes things even easier. (Appears to be the world's shortest railroad, about 6 Km.)
Then when you have a suitable area cleared you can start building a town and yoou can get the loggers out of their tents and into bunkhouse.
You can build houses and bring in families.
Add; a church, store, and a school.
Now while the loggers are clearing the valley where the lake will go the new workers can construct the dam and the powerhouse.
Five years later you dismantle the town except for a couple of heritage buildings, and the workers, all but a few maintenance men, move on to another project.
THIS IS A SMALL GENERATOR TO TICKLE THE EXCITERS.
CUTAWAYS LET US SEE THE INTERIOR
The diesel generator turns a DC generator which produces a current that will excite the electro magnets in the generators.
Without this the there is no magnetic field around the commutators.
Much like the battery in your car which excites the tickler in the car's alternator.
If you have ever tried to jump start a car and it won't fire that is because there is no juice in the car's battery.
You have to charge the battery for a few minutes to give it enough charge to excite the tickler to magnetize the magnets surrounding the commuter in your alternator.
I RECALL A SIMILAR ONE IN MY HOME WHEN I WAS A CHILD
THE TWO PENSTOCKS FOR THE EXCITERS
FOUR PENSTOCKS FOR THE ORIGINAL GENERATORS
THE PENSTOCK FOR THE FIFTH GENERATOR
HAD TO BE PUSHED THROUGH SOLID ROCK
THOUSANDS OF PARTS
ALL HAD TO BE CONNECTED, ON SITE
ONE HUGE MECCANO SET
A SWISS MADE GENERATOR OPENED FOR YOUR VIEWING
OPENED, AND GLASS ENCASED, FOR YOUR VIEWING
THE OLD TAILRACE
NOT QUITE ON A EVEN KEEL
THE MV SHIRLEY SITS ON THE BOTTOM WHEN THE WATER LEVEL IS LOW
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