Holden Pond (Forgotten Memories of the Ottawa Valley)
Marc Audet Singer/Songwriter
Holden Pond is the 4th song of my folk show Forgotten Memories of the Ottawa Valley. The song starts with a narrative introducing the song, and telling the story of the meaning of the song, which is the story of villages and settlements along the Ottawa River having to be moved (resettlement) to make room for a large hydroelectric reservoir lake, Holden Lake.
Holden Pond tells the story of hydroelectric development of the Ottawa River in the 1950s, and how that affected the early settlers that cleared lands and made a life along the shores of the river (the Taits, Charboneaus, Heaneys, Jennings, and many other families). The story starts in 1929 when Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario conducted land surveys along the shores of the Ottawa River to map out the elevation of the reservoir (Holden Lake). Several small villages were flooded, along with farms, trout lakes, churches, cemeteries and everything else that had been carved from the Canadian wilderness. The song was inspired from sitting on the concrete steps of the church at Stonecliff under 20' of water in the dim light, thinking about the decades that early people walked on these very steps before the river was dammed. The people that were affected were not happy with being uprooted. This is not a protest song; it just tells the story of how people felt as they watched the water inch upward day by way when the reservoir was filled