Balaclava is named after a battle in the Crimean War in 1854, when British, French and Turkish forces engaged with the Russians protecting the port of Sevastapol on the Black Sea. I am not sure why a town in 1859 in a British colony was named for a battle that was not a British success--it was the venue of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. Also, oddly, the battle has sartorial significance: Lord Raglan was in charge of the operation and, yes, the raglan sleeve is named for him as his tailor came up with the idea since Raglan had lost an arm in military action. The commander of the Light Brigade was Lord Cardigan, and British officers supposedly wore knitted waistcoats during the war and the name was applied to them. The balaclava helmet was a knitted garment sent by British ladies to the troops to help them deal with the cold, for which the British Army had incompetently outfitted them, but the name was not applied to the headgear (favoured by Canadian bank robbers) until decades after the Crimean War.
In 1927 the timber dam was replaced with a concrete one, and this dam, which was not longer able to control flooding, was replaced by a new structure in 2013. Balaclava is technically not a ghost town as a few people still live there. The sawmill still stands, as does the general store. When we were visiting, a section of the general store building was being torn down. Otherwise not a whole lot to see--well, except for a lot of Corvettes that day!
After meeting the Valley Vette people and admiring everyone's cars, we got up a convoy and headed to Foresters Falls and the Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort on the Ottawa River. The resort offers rafting trips, kayaking and even bungee jumping but we passed these up in favour of lunch in the big restaurant.