Freeman Station Restoration Begins

submitted by Mark Gillies

Our restoration is now officially underway.

From the left, Mark Gillies, Membership & Fundraising Chairman, Brian Aasgaard, President and John Mellow, Restoration Chairman for Friends of Freeman Station get things underway with a daylong cleanup using an old reliable shovel, and a couple of brooms on the hottest day of the summer. In the photo at right, John Mellow and Ron Danielsen, Director, help erect the security fence around the station.

Thanks to Dr. Hans Viergever for taking these photos and sharing them with us. We didn’t know that too much volunteering could wear you down.

Brian Aasgaard (left) and John Mellow (right) at the end of the first cleanup day, worked way too hard, probably overdid it, and were just plain bagged. Brian and John both stated afterwards, ”Maybe we should get some more help.”

If you would like to volunteer for our train station restoration, please contact John Mellow at: donstn63

Historical Memorabilia & Artifact Donations are now arriving for our Freeman Station. An anonymous donor has selected the Freeman Station to share a lifetime collection of Grand Trunk Railway historical artifacts. This incredible GTR collection was originally intended for the Royal Ontario Museum.

One day this magnificent historical and rare collection will be displayed at the Burlington Junction station,when restoration has been completed.

Here is a very small sampling from our anonymous donor’s collection.

The Grand Trunk Railway advertisement is from 1857
The Grand Trunk Railway Pass is from 1905


This Grand Trunk Railway postcard is from the early 1900s and it promotes Burlington as The Garden of Canada.


These advertisements appeared in England’s Graphic Canadian Supplement in 1914
This Grand Trunk Railway Time Tables is dated May 6,1906


This Grand Trunk Railway brochure promotes the Summer Resorts in northern Ontario and Quebec in the late 1800s.


This Grand Trunk Railway advertisement from 1881 shows how the migration of settlers moved from Ontario to the western parts of Canada.


This Grand Trunk Railway map from the early 1900s shows the track & shipping routes in Ontario, through Michigan’s land & waterways, and on to Chicago.


The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, a subsidiary of the Grand Trunk Railway System published this advertisement in 1913 to entice settlers to move west.

More Freeman Station Donations

Lisa & Tony Pullin have generously donated a beautiful 1906 Stromberg Carlson hand crank telephone that has always been in Lisa’s family since new. On the left is an advertisement of a similar Stromberg Carlson telephone from the same era.

Lisa’s and Tony’s working telephone will be displayed in the Station Master’s office. More unbelievable Freeman Station artifacts from other donors will be featured in upcoming Newsletters

Please sponsor Freeman Station’s 300,000,000 year old Whinstones to help us reach our goal of $100,000.

The Friends of Freeman Station still need to raise $100,000 in order to properly restore the Burlington Junction Station. You can do your part by sponsoring 1 or more of the 1,000 available whinstones for $100.00.

These stones are 300,000,000 years old and came from Scotland. They were used as ballast in the sailing ships that came over from Europe with settlers on board. The ballast was removed once they arrived, and the ships returned to Europe with cargo, usually wheat and lumber, which acted as replacement ballast. Local stone masons in Canada shaped the whinstones into blocks about 10” x 4” x 3” and used them as decorative facing on buildings. The Freeman station could be the only Grand Trunk Railway station that has a whinstone facing.

All 1,000 sponsorships will have the names added to an Honour Board which will be permanently and prominently displayed inside the station. Many sponsors have chosen to add the names of a loved one for the Honour Board. Whinstone Certificates will be issued with one of the 1,000 numbers still available. They can be framed. All Whinstone sponsors will receive a $100.00 charitable tax deductible receipt. There is an Order Form attachment for Whinstone sponsorship with this Newsletter. If you have not made a contribution yet, a Whinstone sponsorship would be appreciated. We need these funds to reach our goal and have the station restored. Thank you.

Lifetime Naming Rights Opportunities to the Freeman Station are almost sold out

If you wish to participate as a Naming Rights sponsor on areas still available, please contact me for more details.

Thank you






Mark Gillies
Friends of Freeman Station
Fundraising & Membership Chairman

Friends of Freeman Station Order Form Whinstone Sponsorship.pdf

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Marianne thank you for taking on this project and getting it completed with very little tax dollars involved. The previous council spent a lot of money on where to put it and left it hanging. Good job

What's your take?

Melodia Public Meeting – July 29 at 6:30pm

Help Food for Life win $10,000 grant