In 1998 now-retired BC Hydro employee Colin Gurnsey set out to salvage history, educate children, and turn the Stave Falls Powerhouse into a visitor centre.
He succeeded and the centre opened its doors on Mother's Day in 2002.
Now, just over a decade later, the visitor centre is at risk of closing its doors.
"There are a lot of rumours... for those of us who see the value in the facility we think [BC Hydro] should look closer at the ramifications and loss of the educational opportunities," explained Gurnsey, who was at the 100th anniversary Saturday giving tours of the dam and powerhouse.
"The job we did [building the visitor centre] was the best in North America and if [BC] Hydro wants to shut it down or not promote it, they will lose a great opportunity to educate children about electricity," said Gurnsey.
BC Hydro spokesperson Jennifer Young attempted to quash the rumours. She told The TIMES that the only change afoot will be modifying the hours of operation.
"We are changing from being open all year to closing down from Labour Day until the spring," Young explained.
"There was an examination of the number of visitors at each visitor centre and BC Hydro determined that this would better reflect seasonal demand," she added.
But Gurnsey said if BC Hydro wants to reach children it can't just be a summer facility.
"If you don't promote it, people don't come," he said. On Saturday 555 people came out to celebrate the centennial anniversary, tour the facility, view the displays, and try out the hands-on displays.
The Stave River generation complex is made up of three dams and power stations: Stave Falls, Alouette, and Ruskin. The three powerhouses have a production capacity of 205 megawatts of electricty.
Construction of Stave Falls dam and powerhouse began in 1909, with the first phase completed in January 1912. Alouette powerhouse was added in 1928, and Ruskin dam and powerhouse came a year later in 1929.
A new Stave dam generating station came into service in 1999, leaving the old powerhouse abandoned and facing elimination.
"If they didn't build the visitor centre they would have had to remove it all. Part of the argument I had for building the visitor centre was to take the money that they would spend to tear it down and use it to build the visitor centre," Gurnsey said about the old powerhouse.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton said he is not happy about the shorter tour season but that BC Hydro is doing what it can to minimize spending.
"They are a Crown corporation and they are trying to manage their costs while still providing educational opportunities for British Columbians and tourists," Dalton said.
"It would be nice if it were longer but at least there will still be opportunities for teachers to bring their students. Teachers will just have to plan to visit when it is open," he said
To date, 125,000 visitors have toured the Canadian National Heritage site - 100,000 of them students.