Alcona Dam


Alcona Dam

In 1914, Consumers Power began construction of a power plant on the Au Sable river, a short way down from the Bamfield halfway house. The backwaters now cover the Bamfield property. This power dam project brought employment to this area for hundreds of men. Construction continued for three years and then temporarily came to a halt because of World War 1. Construction resumed in 1921 and was completed in 1924. Consumers built houses for workers to live in. Dr. Franklin Moore was the company doctor, assisted by a nurse, Mrs. Mary White. The store was provided and was managed by Burnie Oaks. Mary Freeman was Post Mistress and Laura Gordon Boddy was clerk.


Original Bamfield Bridge

The first bridge (Bliss Bridge) was made of logs and had been replaced by a steel span structure. The bridge was located north of the dam, directly in line with the road that comes down Bamfield Hill. The township granted Consumers Power permission to move the steel bridge down river to its present site.

Train at Alcona Dam

Train at Alcona Dam

There were some tragedies. Roy Curley, son of Charles Curley, was killed while working on a pile driver. One end of the machine settled, tipping the boiler and crushing Roy. George Bartlo of Glennie also lost his life while working on a pile driver.

Working on Alcona Dam

Working on Alcona Dam

Alcona Dam A work in progress (2)

Construction at Alcona Dam

Alcona Dam Electricity comes to area

Construction at Alcona Dam


Crane working at Alcona Dam

Alcona Dam Starting the future

Construction at Alcona Dam

Manley Bell Diving to Inspect Alcona Dam

Manley Bell diving at the Alcona dam doing final inspection.

Hubert Pierce with fellows from the dam

Hubert Pierce 2nd from the left.. working on Alcona Dam


Moving Generator into Alcona Dam

Cleaning Logs from river

Cleaning logs from the river

Wages were forty cents and hour for a team and forty cents an hour for the driver. A foreman received sixty cents, a top hand received fifty cents and laborers received forty cents an hour. The shifts were 10 and 12 hours long. The pile driver crews worked three shifts.

Alcona Dam

Inside Alcona Dam

Information from Sherrod Garrett and Manley Bell


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Last updated on:  Thursday, November 22, 2018