The Raquette River, which flows from Raquette Lake to the St. Lawrence River, is one of the most heavily dammed rivers in New York State.
From 2014 to 2016, TAUNY partnered with the Raquette River Blueway Corridor Group, the Village of Potsdam, and Watertown PBS to document the stories of people involved in or significantly affected by the construction of the hydroelectric dams and powerhouses along the Raquette River.
The project recorded thirty interviews with thirty-one individuals with connections to the Raquette River hydro projects, and collected thousands of images including maps, records, and photos depicting life along the Raquette River past and present. Interviewees represent a range of occupations, locations, time periods, and respective relationships to the dam projects.
The exhibit shares the stories and perspectives of these individuals, as well as the broader story of how the hydroelectric dam projects shaped the river itself and life along its banks. It includes thematic panels about work and life related to the dams, audio samples from interviews, and objects representing the dams and river life past and present. The exhibit gives visitors a chance to dive a little deeper into the history of hydroelectric development on the Raquette and its ongoing effects on life in the area.
Interviews were conducted primarily by Camilla Ammirati, Director of Research and Programs at TAUNY in Canton, NY, and Mary Jane Watson of South Colton, NY, in cooperation with Roque Murray of WPBS-TV.
The event is scheduled for 1 to 3 pm at the TAUNY Center in downtown Canton. The TAUNY Center will display the exhibit through October 2017.
The TAUNY Center is located at 53 Main Street, downtown Canton, NY. TAUNY is a nonprofit organization that showcases the folk culture and living traditions of New York’s North Country. More information is available on their website, tauny.org.
Photo: Edson Martin navigates a D-7 tractor across the Raquette at Parameter Ford in 1952 (courtesy of Arnold Wright).