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Claire Puccia Parham '90 is the author of a new book about the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.

The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project: An Oral History of the Greatest Construction Show on Earth has been published by Syracuse University Press. "The culmination of a century-long dream to link the Great Lakes interior industrial hubs to the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project stands as one of the largest and most important public works initiatives of the 20th century," the publishers state. "Seen as vital to North American commerce and strategic in advancing America's position on the world stage, the billion-dollar seaway and power dam were also a phenomenal feat of engineering involving an unprecedented level of cooperation between Canadian and American agencies and the unrelenting efforts of workers on both sides of the border. Dubbed the greatest construction show on earth, the largest waterway and hydro dam project ever jointly built by two nations consisted of seven locks, the widening of various canals, the taming of rapids and the erection of the 3,216-foot long, 195.5-foot high Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam.

"In this book, Parham reveals the human side of the project in the words of its engineers, laborers, and carpenters. Drawing on firsthand accounts, she provides a vivid portrait of the lives of the men who built the seaway and the women who accompanied them. On the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the power dam and waterway, this book is a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of the project's 22,000 workers."

Parham, a native of Watertown, NY, is an instructor in history at Siena College and is also the author of From Great Wilderness to Seaway Town. She earned her St. Lawrence degree in government, as well as earned a master's degree at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and the Ph.D. in American history at SUNY Binghamton.

Posted: February 26, 2009


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