A large boulder with words carved into it that appear to date back to 1888 and 1919 has been unearthed at the Bala Falls construction dig.
The work, being done in advance of a planned new hydro plant there, uncovered the find earlier this week during an excavation of soil at the location where the plant’s future power house will be.
Nhung Nguyen, VP of Development and spokesperson for Swift River Energy Limited, says the find remains a mystery and it’s not known what the dates and words relate to.
“We don’t know at this stage, its kind of too early to tell,” she said. “This rock was uncovered – it’s quite large, it’s about the size of a truck.”
There are two engravings on the boulder with the numbers 1888 and 1919. The rock itself is in pretty rough shape, she said, and is fractured at the base.
Nguyen says the protocol in situations like this is to contact the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
“The ministry got back to us today and just asked us to document this with a licensed archaeologist,” she said. “That’s all they want us to do. They said nothing more needs to be done from their perspective.”
Today, the company invited the OPP and a member of the community to see the rock first hand.
“Now we’re just trying to decide what to do with it, because it’s so large,” she said.
The hydro plant project, which is supposed to have an interpretive center when its completed could hold some historical items, but no decision has been made yet on whether this rock will find its home there.
“These numbers 1888 and 1919 – we don’t recognize those numbers,” says Nguyen. “We did do a Stage 1 and Stage 2 archaeological study and these numbers didn’t show up.”
The archaeologist will be visiting the site this week to take a look at the find.
In the meantime, work continues on the project, which started in earnest this past August.
Nguyen says most of the construction will be taking place next year and the company hopes to be finished the majority of it and turning on the power during the first quarter of 2019.