… by a dedicated group of volunteers who enjoyed one of our first nice days in April to spruce up the grounds, haul away trash, wash windows, and install protective window panels. Thanks, Gord, Brian, Gerry, Stan, John, Ron, Eric, Joe, Alan, Denny, Ken, Bob M, Bob C, and everyone, for your hard work…
These efforts will continue and involve even more tasks at our next Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, April 30th. Please email email@example.com to indicate that you can come (and detail your particular interests and abilities, if you wish)… scrapers and painters likely needed; wear old clothes. We’ll be changing the security fence configuration to accommodate upcoming exterior construction, setting up a new storage compound for our railway relics, and getting the TH&B car out of storage and ready for Summer car shows. It’ll be something of an “Open House” for members, as well… a chance to see recent progress on the renovation of the Station’s interior, and BONUS — an operating model railway exhibit (preview of things to come) — on display for the first time…
Pauline Grondine, well-known storyteller, musician, historical interpreter, heritage performer and reenactor has joined the Friends of Freeman Station restoration project to develop a historical presentation specific to the role of the Burlington Junction Station and the Grand Trunk Railway in the Hamlet of Freeman, now part of Burlington. The Station, now permanently relocated to 1285 Fairview Street, was a hub of commercial and personal travel in the early Twentieth Century, and no one can share this with an audience better than Ms. Grondin. She’s a ‘master’ story teller who can bring those days alive for young and old, and thus preserve the myriad anecdotes about the Station as a community landmark. Stay tuned for dates when she will be appearing! We’re excited to welcome Pauline to our volunteer ‘family.’ (You can read more about Pauline via our ‘Links’ page.)
“Who is Halton?” To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Halton County in 1816, Halton Heritage Services is creating a new travelling exhibit. Staff is capturing personal memories of life in Halton to become part of the display. To share your story, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GB2LVYD for the interview questions.
The project to build an historic model railway diorama on the Lower Level continues on track. The team met on Saturday, March 19th. Minutes of the meeting are posted in the “Members only” section of the Web site.
“Provenance” is everything, according to antiques enthusiasts, and the FOFS TH&B railway inspection car certainly has an amazing story to tell, as reported last week by Tim Miller, writing in the Hamilton Spectator, (Thursday, March 10, Wheels Section, page WH2)
The President of the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo Railway had his staff customize the car so it could run on the TH&B tracks, and he took it out often on inspection runs. Now it resides in the FOFS collection of railway memorabilia for all to see and enjoy.
Known nostalgically as “Sputnik” by old-time railway enthusiasts, the car is a 1951 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe four door sedan with a set of specially-constructed steel wheels for rail travel, a six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine and an automatic transmission. Sorry, folks, no air conditioning, but yes it does have a heater! It was in service from June 24, 1957 to June 24, 1977, after which it was sold to the Ontario Rail Foundation. Then eventually passed into the hands of Rod Wilson, who donated it to FOFS.
If you’d like to see “Sputnik” up close, she’s in the “round house” at Freeman Station, and we’ll be bringing her to car shows in Burlington this Summer.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
(3/2) John Mellow, Director of Restoration, writes,
“Thanks to some very mild temperatures lately, our work on interior restoration has continued and yesterday we reached another milestone. The Operator/Agent’s office now has tongue and groove material installed on all walls around five windows, one door and the ticket window. This has been no small task given the condition of the walls when we first started removing the old wood. Yesterday morning… (we worked all day and…) made the last join in the corner on the east side of the bay window.
“My thanks go out to all who have made completion of the walls in this room a reality, especially Ken, Joe and Stan. They are a great team to work with.
“Next comes the interior trim around all windows and doors. Just a heads up, we will need more funds to purchase most of these materials unless a sponsor is found.”
Thanks to John, Bob C, Denny, and Alan — on Sunday, March 6th, Friends Of Freeman Station displayed the story of our restoration project at the Canadian Association of Railway Modelers annual train show in Copetown.
Each year CARM sponsors this event, “A Showcase of Canadian Railway Modelling,” that includes manufacturers, layouts, displays and more. Thanks, CARM, for your hospitality!
As we meet folks around Burlington, many tell us of the times they came and went by train from the Burlington Junction Station. We’re collecting these anecdotes — and we’d like to hear from you… if you have memories of coming to the Station, of watching the old steam engines come chugging through, of helping the farmers bring their produce up Brant Street by horse and wagon to load it on the “fruit train” destined for Toronto, Montreal and beyond…
…of waiting in the Brant Street traffic jams as the trains rumbled through the Hamlet of Freeman; of working at the Tip Top Cannery and the Basket Factory; of “trading” at Pridmore’s Store; of good times at the Brant Inn; of going by Hamilton Radial Electric Railway to shop at FW Woolworth’s or Eaton’s or Robinson’s in Hamilton; late night meals at the Clans Restaurant; of great food at the Tien Kue Inn… please drop us an email — email@example.com — and share your story. Let us hear from you!
And here’s a bit of nostalgia for you:
Friends of Freeman Station was at the Burlington Heritage Fair on Saturday, February 6th at the Burlington Public Library (Central). We showed our incredible 1/24th scale model of the Burlington Junction Station as well as one of our model locomotives and several pieces of rolling stock. Thanks to John, Ken, Gerry, Alan, Reg, and Bob C. for meeting and greeting, and thanks to Mayor Rick Goldring and Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed-Ward and so many other attendees for stopping by.
Photo courtesy of Jan Lucas.
We had a great time at the TH&B Model Train Show and flea market in Ancaster on Sunday, January 31st. Thanks to Ken, Denny, John, and Alan for manning the FOFS booth and relating the story of our ongoing restoration of the 1906 Burlington Junction Station. We met many interested people and invited them to come past to see our progress. That extends to all our readers — come past any morning that you see cars parked there, and be amazed by the transformation!