Museum Chat Live! E306 – The Fallen Workers Part 2

This is Part 2 in a Museum Chat Live! mini-series detailing the Fallen Workers of the Welland Canal.  Click here to listen to Part 1.

A dredge working on underwater excavation during construction of the Fourth Welland Canal. A dredge similar to this capsized in June 1914, killing William Burt. STCM 1904-N

In this episode, we explore the dangerous working conditions faced by labourers during the construction of the Fourth Welland Ship Canal. At the time of the canal’s construction, work safety standards were extremely minimal and unsafe working conditions were the norm. As a result, many of the deaths that occurred during construction were losses that could have been avoided. Here, we share the harrowing stories of three Fallen Workers: Stana Benasho, William Burt, and John William Hawthorne in an attempt to understand what led to these tragedies and to consider how their lives could have been spared.



This episode was produced using primary source material as well as the Fallen Workers series published in the St. Catharines Standard & Niagara Falls Reviews. For more information on the Fallen Workers discussed in this podcast episode, please follow the links provided.

Stana Benasho

William Burt

John Hawthorne

Special thanks to St. Catharines Museum volunteer Des Corran for being on this podcast. Sara Nixon is a public historian and Public Programmer at the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.






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