New Book – Triumph and Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal

Book to be published about the Welland Ship Canal and its Fallen Workers; Order Before October 1st to receive a 20% discount, details below

ST. CATHARINES – In conjunction with the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial project, a new publication about the Welland Ship Canal – Triumph and Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal – is currently being prepared for release in 2018.

For almost two centuries the Welland Ship Canal has linked Lakes Ontario and Erie, thus enabling ships from around the world to sail to the heartland of North America.  Once completed, the present Ship Canal (the Fourth Welland Canal) was viewed as a twentieth century marvel in engineering, but there was a terrible cost paid in lives over its twenty-one year period of construction.

At more than 350 pages, the forthcoming book is illustrated with hundreds of never-before-published photographs from numerous public and private collections.  Its release will mark the culmination of four-and-one-half years of detailed research by a special committee whose efforts have been rewarded with historical material from collections throughout Canada, the United States, and beyond.  Included in the thousands of hours of research has been an ongoing effort to locate the families of the fallen in order to permanently record the stories and preserve the memories, documents, and photographs about their ancestors and their work in building the Welland Ship Canal.

The book ultimately pays tribute to the 137 workers whose lives were lost during the Canal’s construction by featuring individual profiles of each casualty and placing them within the context of the huge construction effort that was necessary to complete this achievement in Canada’s marine transportation network.

Triumph and Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal will provide a unique insight into a man-made structure that has impacted Niagara like no other.  The Welland Ship Canal is, however, much more than concrete locks and twenty-six miles of waterway.  This new book is especially a people’s story about those labourers whose sweat and toil built the Canal, and those who sometimes died in its peacetime trenches because of accidents and mishaps.  Triumph and Tragedy will provide a special understanding of the hardships and sacrifices of those “heroes of peace”.

Through its particular style and subject content, the book is unique as a social history and as a study of industry as it documents specific themes of the Canal’s construction.  Because of this specialized content it will also be an important addition to previous histories about the Welland Canal that have been published by other authors.
Biographical profiles and special feature articles have been prepared by many of Niagara’s most distinguished authors, historians, genealogists, curators, librarians, university professors, and canal authorities.  As an example of the subject matter, it will include content from newly found research about the Welland Canal Construction Railway, Medical Services, labour issues, the Anglican Mission to workers, and much more.  Through this special format of subject features, readers will gain a new understanding into many of the lesser-known aspects of the Welland Ship Canal and its construction.

INFORMATION RELEASE – Book Release
“Triumph and Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal”
September 28, 2017:

  • Triumph and Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal will be published in full colour, hard cover, 350+ pages, and will be available in 2018:
  • Orders placed before October 1, 2017 will receive a 20% discount, $31.95 (+ HST & shipping)
  • Regular rates apply after October 1st – $39.95 (+ HST & shipping)
  • Order Forms and information can be downloaded at:  http://www.stcatharines.ca/en/governin/Fallen-Workers-Memorial.asp
  • Triumph and Tragedy is being released in a limited edition print run.  Those considering purchasing a copy are advised to Pre-Order now in order to reserve a copy of the book.

Pre-paid book orders may be dropped off at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, or ordered by telephone at:  905.984.8880

(Source: News release)

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