PhotoEditor-1461863676847

bj_logo

 

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!

img_0706

img_0688 img_06892016-12-19-11-46-442016-12-19-11-44-15

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
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…
p1030063croppedp1030064cropped

(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.

 

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

 

 

 

Wrapping up the 2016 reconstruction…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

John writes, ” last Wed., Thurs., and Friday Ken Brooks and I completed the remaining installation of clapboard siding on the oval-window wall, plus the areas above the triple windows on either side of the oval window wall.  Denny and Ken finished the exterior painting in these areas except for some narrow trim that can wait until Spring. This area is now all buttoned up for winter and really looks good. Thanks to everyone who helped out in this area over the last year.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And thanks to Bob M., Gord, and Denny, who worked under Ken Brooks’ tutelage to carefully remove the 110-year-old inside wall planks in the baggage room, thus enabling insulation and wiring to be installed.  Another section of the building moving toward completion…

 

Let’s talk tax deductions

Now, we’re not tax experts, and we hate to be the bearer of “bad news,” but tax time is almost upon us.

So if you need tax deductions to offset income, let’s discuss how you can help the restoration effort at Freeman Station, memorialize a family name or a specific family member, fund a memorial Whinstone, or otherwise set up a tax-deductible donation for tax year 2016, and make a lasting contribution to the Friends of Freeman Station’s efforts to restore/renovate/manage an important historic landmark in the City of Burlington.

YOU can make a difference and leave a lasting legacy for this community, and deduct 100% of your contribution off your income tax return.  Yes, there are many tax-deductible funds appealing to you for a donation, but none offers a more intimate and meaningful opportunity to do something to preserve a piece of Burlington’s early days, make a niche for your family surname, honour an ancestor, or just make a darn good gesture for your Burlington neighbours.   Even a contribution which establishes naming rights to a certain facility or feature within the Station can earn you a receipt for a 100% tax deduction.

Email info@freemanstation.ca to get started.

 

BDRC presents LLRD to Peel Scale Modelers

On Tuesday, November 15th, BDRC team members were invited to present our vision for the historic Lower Level Railway Diorama which we are planning to build in the basement of the Freeman Station to depict life in the hamlet of Freeman and surrounds in the 1920’s, to the Peel Scale Modelers (PSM) monthly meeting.

sam_3183c We invited PSM to join us in the design of the diorama, the state-of-the-art audience involvement features we are planning (including lighting, sound effects, and computer control), and construction of specific models, buidings, vintage autos, horses and wagons, and early Twentieth-Century scenes which we will depict as the diorama grows and evolves over the next several years.

We were greeted enthusiastically by the more than 30 attendees, and several came forward to offer help.  Thanks, Peel Scale Modelers!

(Does anyone see a problem with the rail line in this mockup picture of the LLRD?  A 2017 free annual membership [value $ 20] to the first person who emails info@freemanstation.ca with the correct answer!)

P.S.  Thanks very much to the Burlington Gazette for its recent excellent write-up on our plans for the LLRD.  We are looking for one or more sponsors who share our vision and would like to make a 100% tax-deductible donation to help defray our construction costs.  We are at approximately $ 14,000 against that goal, and all construction effort will be done by volunteers — no one is paid.  Our target budget is $ 100,000 for a first-rate, state-of-the-art award-winning experience for our guests.  (By contrast, another project in Toronto, much more elaborate, has a million dollar budget.  We are not proposing that!)

Please email info@freemanstation.ca if you would like to get involved, or would like to contribute.

 
Train

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)