Paisley Hydro Electric System

Lockerby, source of Paisley's first power

Facts supplied by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Carlaw

Paisley’s first power came from a power plant that was built by Donald Mclntyre on the north branch of the Saugeen River 2-1/2 miles east of Paisley. After Donald’s son Herbert went west in 1907, the late Jim MacNeill operated the power plant. Mr. MacNeill, it is said, rewired every house in Paisley but two in preparation for Ontario Hydro’s take-over in 1924. Many people will also remember Mr. Edward (“Slim”) Ayerst who came to Paisley in 1923 with a crew of linemen to work on the hydro lines in Paisley. (Mr. Ayerst married Edna Hamilton of Town)

Paisley’s First Hydro Commission consisted of Chairman George Craig, Hugh McKerracher and S.F. Ballachey. Donald Elwes was hired as secretary in 1928. In 1942 W.E. Theaker was elected to the commission and became chairman, a position he held until 1972, during which time many improvements were made. They purchased the sub station on Goldie Street hill in 1955. A new 1000K.V.A. transformer was installed at the substation in 1961 to double the output of power. The present Hydro Electric Office was opened in the town hall in 1960 and was the first such quarters in Ontario to be electrically heated. A hydro truck was purchased in 1963. New fluorescent street lights were installed in the village in 1966 which were a big improvement over the older ones. In 1972 a more modern hydro truck was purchased and with the increased demand for more power, a 3000K.V.A. transformer was installed at the substation in 1973.

Howard Carlaw was elected to the commission in 1947 and is the present chairman along with the village clerk, Charles Ellis who serves in the capacity as secretary treasurer. Clarence Nicholson was elected to the commission. in 1972.
A popular young Paisley native and our Centennial Chairman, Mr. Ron Abbs, also served as secretary treasurer while he was village clerk from 1970 until 1973.

The following information was later obtained from The Paisley Advocate
March 12, 1924

Mrs. Donald McIntyre, who is down from Regina, has disposed of the old electric light power house and equipment to Mr. Wm. Dawson, who makes the purchase with the object of increasing the water power at his mills on the 2nd Concession. The buildings, electric dynamos, exciter, water wheels and all other machinery is included in the deal. The farm on which the power plant was located is also sold, the purchaser being Mr. john McIntyre, of 4th Concession, whose home farm abuts this one.     

Paisley Waterworks

The first Waterworks system in Paisley was started in 1887. It was for fire protection only and can be found in the history of the Paisley Fire Brigade.
In 1946, with the end of World War II, came the decision to install a modern water supply in Paisley. Up to this time the people of Paisley carried their water from near-by wells and the only water mains were along Queen Street from Inkerman Street to the Creamery building.
A search for pure water didn’t present too big a problem when an over-flowing supply was found in Riverside Park. While the Water from the “flowing well” was perfectly pure from a health standpoint it was extremely hard and could not be used for laundry purposes. It also contained such a heavy content of iron and sulphates that it caused considerable corrosive damage to household plumbing installations and was constantly causing more and more trouble in the municipal distribution system.
In 1948 the village council with the co-operation of the Dept. of Health, started to look for another water supply. In the fall of 1951 a public meeting was held in the Town Hall and the ratepayers who were present gave the council permission to proceed with the construction of a $22,000 filtration plant, using water from the Teeswater River. This did not end the water problems altogether because due to the corrosive damage that had occurred in the municipal distribution system, water would have to be turned off while repairs were made and large areas of the town would be without water, sometimes for many hours.
More “shut offs” were installed, until at the present time only a small area of the village is without water, if repairs to the system are required.
In the early 1970’s Paisley’s population started to grow to proportions that the water system became inadequate. In 1973 a new 10” plastic main was installed to replace the old 4” main from the pumphouse to the water tower.

Lester Leeson, the assistant town supervisor has been waterworks manager since 1955, and it was with his assistance and from old Advocate’s that the above information was made possible.

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An Historic Album of Paisley
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