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$ 200,000 is our goal… and you can help!

As you’ve seen in our letter (above), we’re very close to completing the restoration of this historic Burlington landmark.  We’ve expended more than 6,300 hours of volunteer labour, and garnered more than $ 600,000 in private and corporate donations to fund the cost of materials.

Now you can become part of our project to complete the job.  Your name — and the name of your family — can have a place of honour in the Station’s annals.  Naming rights are one possibility, and the satisfaction of having preserved this treasure for future generations is another.  For details, please contact us — info@freemanstation.ca 

To donate, click here, or select CanadaHelps! at right.

 

 

Retired Teachers Organization approves grant for Freeman Station railway history exhibit

RTO/ETO District 15/Halton of the Retired Teachers of Ontario has announced approval of a grant application by Friends of Freeman Station (FOFS) to fund a computer control system for its historic model railway educational exhibit.  The money will be used to purchase the central “brains” of a planned interactive, museum-quality model railway diorama depicting life in the village of Freeman (now part of Burlington) in the early 1900’s.  Additional details at freemanstation.ca/llrd/.

 
 

Volunteers needed! Please consider helping…

To date, more than 6,000 hours of volunteer labour have gone into the project, and more than $ 390,000 in cash and corporate/ private donations and pledges has been raised. On the Station’s Lower Level, we’re planning to install a computer-driven, museum-quality interactive diorama depicting life in the hamlet of Freeman, which is now part of Burlington, in the early Twentieth Century.

We’re looking for volunteers to join the building restoration project and/or the diorama construction project. Depending on your interests, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in this historic legacy.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Curriculum development- writing teacher material for class visits

  • Bricklaying and carpentry

  • Accounting – simple, spread sheet, income & expenditures

  • Photography – amateur (digital!)

  • Computer – correspondence, spreadsheet data input and management

  • Web site – assistant Web master using WordPress (we’ll teach you)

  • Email database – adding/editing contact information

  • Gardening – grounds maintenance, flower beds, mowing, weeding

  • Community relations – arranging and staffing public appearance events

  • Publicity – news stories and media relations

  • Model railroading – garden scale design, layout, and operation

  • Steam boiler certification – live steam locomotive operation

  • Videography – video documentation and editing

  • Artistry – scene and mural painting

  • Docents – volunteer staffing to receive and brief the public

  • Artifact management – logging, documenting, photographing, data entry

To any extent that you can help, please email us — info@freemanstation.ca — and let us know your interest.

 

“Families of Freeman” section now up on the Web site

We’ve been working with local families to capture their stories  about life in the village of Freeman and early Burlington.  The first of these are now published under the “Families of Freeman/Stories” link above (or click here) and include “A.D. McMillan, Fruit and Vegetable Grower,” “Memories of Freeman,” “The Freeman Family and the village of Freeman,” “The Smith Family (Smith’s Funeral Home),” and the life story of “Theo Bullock.”  There are many more family histories and anecdotes which could be added to this collection, and we’d very much like to hear from you, to add your family’s memories.  Just drop us a note to info@freemanstation.ca and we’ll work out the details.

 

The Whinstones have now been re-installed…

Christmas came early to the Station, as the masons from Thorstone — including Joel Thorstone and his staff — Colin, Mark and Mitchell — have now completed the work of re-installing the Whinstone facade across the front of the Station.  Work proceeded notwithstanding the cold weather and they finished in five days.  Beautiful job, guys.  We are thrilled to see the result!

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Joel Thorstone and crew on a well-deserved coffee break
 

We love a parade…

…so here we are again, Friends of Freeman Station volunteers in the 2016 Burlington Santa Claus Parade.  Nice day, mild temperatures, no rain.  What more could the intrepid volunteer parade participant ask for?  Well, a reliable ride, what else?  And a good time was had by all…
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(Intrepid photos:  Bob Miller)

 

60 years ago…

Leslie Dawe and her Mother arrived at the Burlington Junction Station from England by ship and train in 1956.  To celebrate the 60th anniversary of that occasion, Leslie invited 35 of her closest friends and relatives to meet her at the Freeman Station.  The rest, they say, is history.

sam_3261-captionedShe was greeted this time by the Mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring, and Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed-Ward. Greetings were also read from Hon. Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, and Hon. Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington.

 

 

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The family presented Leslie with a Whinstone named in her honour, and Friends of Freeman Station endowed her with a Lifetime Honourary Membership.  “I remember arriving at the Station warmly dressed in fur-lined coat and boots, expecting to step out into a cold Canadian November,” Leslie said.  “That’s what Grandma had prepared us for.  Instead the temperature was in the 60’s, and we were sweltering!”

Well, Leslie, we couldn’t quite replicate that day’s weather for you, but we did pretty good:  temperature around 45 degrees F and partly sunny, so really a nice day.  So congratulations and thank you for thinking of Burlington Junction Station as the venue for your 60th commemoration!

P.S.  If you, dear reader, or someone you know would like to come past the Freeman Station on your nostalgic occasion, we’ll be happy to accommodate you.  Just send us a note to info@freemanstation.ca and we’ll arrange it.

 

 

 
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Video by Kevin Davies; photography by Bob Chambers, Bob Miller, Nikki Wesley, John Mellow, Joel Waterman, Denny Williams, Alan Harrington, Al Pettman and others (by permission)