All posts by denny

Norton family sponsors Freeman Station Waiting Room

Friends of Freeman Station has received a generous donation from Burlington's Mikalda Farms Ltd. (Norton family) to sponsor the passenger Waiting Room at the restored Burlington Junction Station in memory of their McMillan ancestors, Alexander Donald and Charlotte Campbell McMillan and their descendants, including daughter Effie McMillan, and her son Frank McMillan and wife Lillie May Boniface McMillan.  

The "McMillan Room" Waiting Room at the Freeman Station will be available as meeting space for use by small groups.  Completion of its restoration to early Twentieth-century appearance is now assured, and is almost finished, including newly paneled and painted walls, flooring, restored ceiling treatment, and reconstruction of the original windows including the distinctive Jane Irwin oval window at the end of the room.

Read the story of "A.D. McMillan, Fruit & Vegetable Grower" at
Our thanks to the Norton family for their generous support.

AD McMillan truck

Join FOFS on Aug 1st @ LaSalle Park Joseph Brant festival

Friends of Freeman Station is coming to the LaSalle Park Pavillion on Monday, August 1st for Joseph Brant Family Day, 11 AM – 4 PM.
Something for the entire family.
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Join us for an update on the Friends of Freeman Station project to restore the 1906 Burlington Junction Station.




Special treat:  renowned story-teller Pauline Grondin relates the history of the Burlington Junction Station and its importance to the Freeman / Burlington community.  Children 12 years and older would probably enjoy the story with their adults.


Then for the little ones… say hello to ThomasThomas
the Tank Engine!




Colouring books for the youngsters, too!

Joseph Brant Day Poster 2016-page-001

July volunteer work Saturdays

Friends of Freeman Station volunteers are needed for each of our Volunteer Work Saturdays in July.  You can help, 8 AM til mid-day.  July 9, 16, and 23rd.  Wear old clothes.

Current tasks are mostly focused on painting, but if you’re not a painter, there are other things you can do.  Moral support is helpful, too, so stop past to say hello.

John calculates that more than 3,500 volunteer hours have gone into the Burlington Junction Station restoration project in the past two years.  Our cadre of volunteers are virtually all young-at-heart seniors.

The Waiting Room is almost finished.  Prepare to be amazed.

CRHA Niagara visits Freeman Station

(June 24th) – the Niagara Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association stopped in the midst of their “Longest Day” tour this year at the Burlington Junction Station.  (It was a scheduled stop, and they were on time, in the best railway tradition!)  As is their annual practice, at the crack of dawn to take advantage of one of the longest days of the year, they meet to capture as many  great photos at prime railway trainspotting venues in southern Ontario as possible until the sun sets. Read more about these intrepid rail buffs at

Bob Chambers captured their inspection of restoration progress at Freeman Station.

CRHA visits Freeman Station

Mark your calendar for Doors Open – Oct 1st

We’re excited to be part of Doors Open Burlington activities slated for Saturday, October 1st.  It’ll be our first opportunity to open the Burlington Junction Station to visitors, to show the progress toward restoration to an early Twentieth-century state.  Mark your calendar for an enjoyable day!  We’re at 1285 Fairview Street, next to the Central Fire Station (also a Doors Open location).

Doors Open Burl - Freeman Sta - for Web

FOFS Seniors’ Centre workshop

Attendees heard an update from Friends of Freeman Station President Brian Aasgaard on the relocation, stabilization, restoration, and management of the Burlington Junction Station — a project already several years in the process, with about a year to go before opening on 1 July 2017.Brian 0X8A4665

Audience shared memories of early Twentieth-century rail travel and life in the hamlet of Freeman. Those who worked and traveled through the Freeman Station in Winter laughed that it was almost as cold inside the building as on the platform! (We’re fixing that with HVAC and gas heat!)

Denny 0X8A4654 Eleanor Kush 0X8A4681

Whinstones: you can create a lasting memorium

Which one of these Whinstones is yours?  img_0688

You can donate a Whinstone in your family’s name or that of a loved one.  Donations are 100% tax deductible, and the name(s) you designate will go on a permanent display on the restored 1906 Burlington Junction Station.

Whinstone donations are $ 100 and can be arranged on-line.  See our “Donate” page for details.


Whinstones are the solid granite blocks, quarried in Scotland, which were re-installed to form the facade around the base of the Station.  This is what they looked like before temporary removal for the Station’s relocation:


Recently our mason completed installation of Whinstones on the back side of the building.  They look great;  here’s a snapshot just after the job was done:

Join us – railway nostalgia workshop – June 21st

Many folks tell us they’ve got fond memories of railway travel through the Burlington Junction Station, and of the daily cacophony of steam locomotives (more than 40 a day!) coming and going through Burlington in the early Twentieth Century.  So we’re holding a “nostalgia workshop” on Tuesday, June 21st from 1:30 PM – 3 PM at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre.  Come and share your stories with the group.  Free admission, register at the donor, donations toward the cost of restoring the Freeman Station gratefully accepted.

Offered as part of Burlington’s “Live and Play” month.

Come play

Wow. We’ve had a busy few days!

Our busy week started with our intrepid cadre of volunteers putting in another stellar Saturday Volunteer Work Day at the Station.  The grass got cut, some painting got done, and we installed several panels of protective Lexan on the exterior windows.  It was surprisingly hot — a record-setting day.

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Then on Wednesday June 1st FOFS took the traveling model railway exhibit to the Tansley Woods Community Centre in support of the month-long “Stay ‘n Play” Seniors’ Month put on by Burlington’s Parks and Recreation Department.  A good time was had by all, and the demonstrations included our vintage model steam locomotive and Grand Trunk Railway passenger train, an Emmet Kelly, Jr. autographed circus train, and — best of all, Thomas the Tank Engine and friends.  The latter to the sheer delight of the youngsters.

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Finally, on Sunday, June 5th we supported the Appleby Street Festival (Car Free Sunday) with an information booth.  We met lots of folks and a good time was had by all until — surprise! — a rain storm hit about 3:20 PM and brought the festivities to a watery end.

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Thanks to everyone who helped with these events – Brian, Gerry, Ken, Bob M., Ruth M., Karen, Gord, Dave, Denny, John, Cody, Larry D, Joel, Alan, Ed, and Joe.