Seaway and Lost Villages mystery author Maggie Wheeler recently turned her focus on history to more peaceful purposes: writing the history of the Lost Villages for The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada’s authoritative source for all things Canadian.
“When Historica Canada first asked me if I would consider filling this gap in their publication,” explains Wheeler, “I jumped at the chance. With my mystery novels, I work with the Seaway history, but I have 300 pages in which to let my imagination run wild. This encyclopedia article couldn’t have been more different.”
The Lost Villages were nine Canadian communities on the shore of the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall, Ontario and Morrisburg, Ontario that were eradicated by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project in the late 1950s. Over half a century since they disappeared from the landscape, the Lost Villages continue to fascinate Canadian history fans—including being the framework for Wheeler’s popular Farran Mackenzie Lost Villages mystery series.
“The remarkable story of the Lost Villages has consequences that continue to be felt to this day in many ways,” says Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of Historica Canada. “It’s a story that should be known by all Canadians, and Maggie Wheeler, with her great history and writing credentials on this topic, is clearly the ideal person to tell it.”
“I’ve always worked carefully with the Lost Villages history in my books to assure its accuracy,” says Wheeler, whose mystery fiction has been used to teach English and history in eastern Ontario schools for over a decade. “However, writing this article with the required precision was working on a whole new level for me. It felt like literary surgery!”
The article is among 19,000 others focused on Canada and Canadiana at The Canadian Encyclopedia web site www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca.