To the editor:
During World War II, many German and Italian soldiers were captured in Africa and interned in POW camps in Northern Ontario just north and east of Sioux Lookout.
During the time the POWs were in Canada, the Canadian Army Home Guards guarded the Ranier lift bridge and were stationed at each dam at Kettle Falls. There was a small shelter about 4’x4’ at each dam, where the soldiers could stand during inclement weather.
At the Ranier lift bridge, a railroad car was placed north of the tracks where the bridge ends for protection from the weather.
During the 1930s and early 1940s, saw logs were floated down Namakan Lake to Kettle Falls. The logs then were sluiced through the dam and a boom was stretched below the dam to catch the logs. After all the logs were sluiced through the dam, the logs then were towed to Fort Frances.
I would like to get in touch with anyone who worked on the Gators during those years, and with anyone who had guard duty at the Ranier lift bridge or at the Kettle Falls dams. I’m interested in any photos or stories about these events.
If anyone remembers hearing about these situations from family members, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Please contact Norman Selsaas, Box 62, Ranier, Mn., 56668, or call me at 1-218-286-3371. Thank you.