Working in the present while preserving the past for now and the future

Hydro Electric Generating Stations

Pinawa Generating Station

Report on a Collection of Primary Documents, 1903-1928
          By Jennifer Strassel


To read the full report, please click: Pinawa Generating Station Primary Documents


This collection of documents contained primary source materials such as letters, invoices and ledger books from the construction period of the Pinawa Generating Station. The dates found on these papers were between 1903 and 1928.


While sorting through these papers and books, not a lot of new information was uncovered regarding the history of Pinawa. The majority of the materials pertained to the day to day needs of the site and solutions to any issues that arose.


Among the things discovered in these documents was that the Lac du Bonnet Mining, Development & Manufacturing, Co. only appears in 1904 invoices, billing the Winnipeg General Power Co. primarily for meals and board for workers, along with a few miscellaneous goods like a pair of rubber boots or a couple of hammers.


These records also show that the J.D. McArthur Co. was a constant supplier of assorted lumber throughout the period indicated within these papers. He also charged for meals and board and a few other miscellaneous goods, in addition to supplying beef for a time.
Otherwise, the majority of grocery purchases were made through large Winnipeg wholesalers, and construction materials primarily came from throughout Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States.


Overall, these primary documents outline the struggles and roadblocks faced, all while providing insight into both sides of the Company, the workers and overseers; however, the focus was always on the day to day operations and the need to get things done, in addition to the men working on the site and the few women helping with laundry and some cooking, who made all of it possible. Without that, construction on the generating station would not have been completed and Winnipeg’s power supply would have been much less.

The Lac du Bonnet & District Historical Society acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory and that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

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