Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Telling the Stories

Another result of the work session on Saturday past, was a decision about part of the station scene in Aylmer.
As I've blogged earlier, http://elgincarshops.blogspot.ca/2012/05/bit-of-mystery.html, the actual date for the destruction of the Aylmer station still remains a mystery. I'm getting closer, in that I've eliminated some options.
I've gone through the Fire Hall minutes book as far back as the beginning of WWII. That's Sept '39 for those of us who aren't in the US. And there's no record of a fire. I'm now thinking that perhaps a fire occurred during the depression. With times being tough I can see the railroad not wanting to spend cash on a new structure, rather less money to move the train order board adjacent the elevated crossing tower and passenger ticket sales, such as it was, to the freight shed just to the south of the original station. It's worth noting that it was during the '30s that a daily mixed from St Thomas to Glencoe was canceled, most likely due to lack of passengers.
It certainly was a lovely looking station. And in the '20s an express extension was added to the west end, the other side of this view.
So regardless of the actual date of destruction, I've decided to model the footings. In spite of the likely hood that the footings would have been dug up by the timeframe I'm modeling, 1951.
It may not be 100% accurate, but as Trevor said, " it helps tell the story."
And it's a little different, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
However this scene is not fanciful.
I have it on good authority, a retired Wabash engineer, that orders were indeed hooped from the crossing tower and that the operator worked from here. Aylmer was a 24 hour train order station. And the 1948 survey map shows the train order board in this location.
If you go to this location today, you can still see the rails in the ground that made up part of the support for this structure.


Jeffrey P. Smith said...


Came across this recently—perhaps another piece of the puzzle:

B.R.C. Order 41708, November 4, 1928: Declaring that 50% of telegraph operators' wages at crossing of John St., Aylmer, Ont., by Grand Trunk Ry., be paid 15% by Town of Aylmer, 15% by Malahide Tp., and 70% by railway company.


Pierre Oliver said...

Now that is intriguing. They're usually careful to distinguish between telegraph operators and "guards" or "gate operators" in these kinds of documents.
I'm thinking we're closer to a solution.