Sepia Saturday - The Fall of the Falls

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I found this old post card among my grandmother's belongings in an old desk she had given me. It's captioned as Pokiok Falls, New Brunswick, Canada. I was curious as to why she had saved this card all these years. I had my suspicions as to why it was there because my grandfather was originally from New Brunswick. It was never used and is in fine condition.

Pokiok Falls is a former waterfall in Pokiok, New Brunswick where the Pokiok Stream emptied over a ledge into the Saint John River. I was shocked to find it was a former waterfall.

The high water level of the new Mactaquac Dam reservoir, used for power generation, submerged the waterfall and the Pokiok Gorge in 1967. The entire village of Pokiok was to be flooded, homes had to be destroyed or moved. Most residents chose to move up the road to higher ground instead of across the river to Nackawic.

All that remains now is an inlet from the Mactquac head pond. The Google street view photo below shows that inlet to the right of the bridge. It is said that in the fall when the water is drawn down in the reservoir part of the old gorge is uncovered. Part of the falls run free again.

It's a mystery was to why my grandmother kept this postcard in her old desk. I know this part of New Brunswick was my grandfather's homeland. Ironically 1967, when the falls were lost, was the year my grandfather passed away.

Perhaps the couple once picnicked here long ago?

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Rosie said…
I come from New Brunswick, a couple of hours away from this place. I did not even know it existed, googled it and got some education. I suppose dams are necessary sometimes, but they do take the beauty of nature away.....thanks for sharing.
Kat Mortensen said…
Perhaps that's where your grandfather "took the plunge" and asked her to marry him, Doug.
Unknown said…
I bet Kat had the right idea. I only visited Canada one time. Went from Macanaw Island Michigan into Canada on a train that took us 100 miles to a beautiful canyon of which I cannot remember, of course, without looking it up. There was a waterfall there and we went over several miles of track over a huge canyon. Sorry if I spelled that island wrong.
21 Wits said…
Oh I like that idea, that he took the plunge to ask for her hand in marriage! Very cool idea, and what a neat story with this postcard!
Bob Scotney said…
He must have fallen for her there. Waterfalls are always so impressive no matter what their size.
An interesting story this postcard tells. I hope the benefits of the dam make up for all the loss of nature and living environment.
Wendy said…
Eery coinkydinky the end of the falls and your grandfather's death.
Christine H. said…
I like Bob's explanation. It must have had some special meaning in any case.
Alan Burnett said…
We have many valleys over here as well that used to contain houses and churches and people but are now full of water. Our continual demand for more and more water makes it so, I suppose, but one can't help feeling for those lost settlements.
Anonymous said…
It must have been a special place for your grandparents - I like Karen and Bob's ideas. At least they had the consolation of the postcard after the falls had gone. Jo
It is too bad that this beauty is no longer there. Celio Falls on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington is gone now too, and it was an important fishing grounds for the Warm Springs Indians.

Thank you for the post.

Kathy M.
DougVernX said…
Thanks everyone for your nice comments. To Kat, Peggy, Karen, Bob, Wendy, Christine, that's very possible they had fallen in love right there. I had not even thought of it. Alan, since I wrote this post I remembered that we have an area in the western part of the state that flooded 4 towns for water for the Boston area in the 1930's. I think I'll do some digging there. I'm sure I'll find some great sepia photos from that era.
Little Nell said…
It would seem it really was a special place to your grandmother, but we shall never know why.
Kristin said…
This is so sad. The falls look so hugh and beautiful. I wonder how much of them appear when the water is low.

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