Trains- Once necessary, now history

For this Friday’s romp to a historical site I thought I’d expose my readers to the train stations of Tillsonburg.  I do plan on taking these trips out of Tillsonburg eventually but for now the town has lots to offer and show off!

I’ve visited three old train stations although, two of them are at one location which is now called The Station Arts Center.  The first involves the main building of the Station Arts Center and is in its original location.  You may notice Tillsonburg is spelt differently on the roof of this building.  This is because at one point (and we’re talking way back) the name was spelt wrong on a number of Ontario documents and it cost a great deal of money to have this mistake fixed.  When Mr. E.D. Tillson (you might remember him from my last blog) died- they had the town’s name changed back to its proper spelling as a kind of ode to him.  This train station was built by the Great Western Railway in a Gothic Revival style.

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The building next to it is also a historic train station although, not in its original spot.  It was a Lake Erie and Pacific Railway station and built in a very different- albeit pretty cool if you ask me- style.  Below you can see a snap I took of it tonight!

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Today the station functions as an art gallery where the works of local artists are displayed and sold and where various community programs like pottery classes and children’s arts camp are run.  Overall, a pretty cool site and a nice asset to the town if you ever get a chance to visit!

Finally, I visited another old train station in Tillsonburg.  I’m not exactly sure which railway built it as it’s not historically designated but my dad told me some stories about it from when he was a kid so that was pretty cool.  Maybe this is something I can look into in the future.  Today, it’s a State Farm office and has been very nicely restored.  This brings up the interesting question of whether historic Sites should be turned into functioning modern businesses or completely preserved in museum form.  For me, I think it’s pretty cool that this station has been preserved while still bringing in business to Tillsonburg in an untraditional way.

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