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Location DB > Canada > Quebec > Gatineau > Meech Lake Ruins
Meech Lake Ruins
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 Database Info
created by Mutt on 7/13/2004 6:35 PM
last modified by hedd on 7/7/2007 3:21 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
Meech Lake in Gatineau Park
Gatineau, Quebec
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • fat naked men, umm "Naturalists"
  •  Interesting Features
    See hazards. Although this site is on NCC property within Gatineau Park it is quite remote so over the years this has become a local naturalist site. Expect to see naked people. I was kind of miffed that there were only fat old men there, no nekked women on the day I toured the area. They didn't seem to mind the camera.
     Security Measures
  • mosquitos and black flies depending on time of year.
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1911
    Closed: 1915
     Required Equipment
  • bug juice if during buggy times of the year.
  •  Recommended Equipment

    The ruins at Meech Lake are no secret to those who know Gatineau Park, but the story of the gentleman who built them, Thomas 'Carbide' Willson is not well known.

    Throughn out his lifetime (1860- 1915) Willson was a tireless and ingenious inventor, engineer, entrepreneur, and electrochemist, facinated with emerging technologies of his day.
    While experimenting with aluminun, he discoveredx how to produce Calcium Carbide, a product which was to make his fortune and extend his influence to international proportions. He sold the American patenat to what was to become The Union Carbide Company in the United States. By 1895 the American British, Canadian and Australian markets were controlled by syndicate, and Willson had paents in fourty other countries. Fearful of losing the rights to the Canadian market, he rushed back to Canada in 1896 to build his own carbide generating plant at Merrilton Ontario which turned profit for him even in its forst year of operation.

    By 1909 he had purchaced 460 acres of land including all of Little Meech Lake and the start of Meech Creek just at the water fall where Patrick Farrel had built his dam. Thomas was delighted to further his studies on Nitrogen. Encouraged bu others who said his fertillizer was so revolutionary that i would put all the other manufacturers out of business, Willson desided to build a plant at Meech Lake.
    In 1911 Willson built a dam using 1004 bags of cement, about 4 to 5 railcars worth. In the next two years he put up the power house picured here in the DB. This was a hundred thousand dollar experimental station. He was proud of the acid tower he built and believed it to be the perfect acid condensation plant, the first Phosphoris Acid Condensation Plant in the world.
    No sooner did the experiments begin then the local residents at the Lake were up in arms. One day there boat houses would be six feet under water the next day six feet from the water.
    Willson was convinced that the plant would be an overwhelming financial and industrial succes. He sold his other companies and took out loans against his other patents with a single investor, American tobacco king JB Duke. His financial dreams then turned to nightmares. Duke absorbed all the assetts when Willson's time limit for production ran out.
    Athough the Meech Lake plant fell into disrepair, Willson himself was not totally ruined. His interests in Newfoundland were not included in the Duke deal; he turned his attention to developing that provinces Hydro Electric capacity. In two years he formed another 20 million dollar corporation-but alas, in 1915, while seeking additional venture capitol, he collapsed on a New York street, dying of a heart attack.
    The acid condensation tower, dam and generating plant were never maintained. The tower fell victim to a fire, now only its base stands. The dam and generating plant- windows sadly gaping- still stand toi haunt the cascading water fall with memories of industry.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Now part of Gatineau Park, a federally owned park.

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Meech Lake Ruins - Mutt's Trip
    Tue, Jul 13th, 2004
    posted by Mutt
    14 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Tue, Jul 13th, 2004
    posted by Mutt
    1 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    August 2017
    Sat, Sep 7th, 2019
    posted by The Secret Lens
    20 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Thu, Dec 31st, 2020
    posted by ToxicUrbex
    7 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links
    includes trail directions on how to get there.
    Click on the reel of film to load up a fantastic 360 panarama of the ruins that I havn't got a clue how to upload myself.

    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 8 / 10
    Coolness 8 / 10
    Content Quality 9 / 10
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 1/2/2021 4:28 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jan 2 21 at 16:28, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 31 20 at 18:37, ToxicUrbex added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Dec 31 20 at 18:36, ToxicUrbex created a new gallery
  • on Sep 8 19 at 17:15, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 7 19 at 21:20, The Secret Lens deleted 1 pictures from gallery August 2017
  • on Sep 7 19 at 21:17, The Secret Lens added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Sep 7 19 at 21:17, The Secret Lens added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Sep 7 19 at 21:07, The Secret Lens added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Sep 7 19 at 21:01, The Secret Lens created a new gallery
  • on Oct 29 10 at 14:34, Opheliaism validated this location
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.precise location: 45.538159,-75.867108ottawa521237/16/2009 3:45 AM by Cochiseg
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