On Saturday, my dad, siblings and I went to Uxbridge to take a train trip on the York-Durham Heritage Railway. This special railway travels along part of the same route (from Uxbridge to Stouffville) that once made up the Toronto and Nipissing (T&N) Railway. The Toronto and Nipissing Railway was built in the late 1860s so that its owner, William Gooderham, a well-known distiller from Toronto, could transport grain to his distillery, lumber for export, and cordwood for resale. Service between Toronto and Uxbridge began in 1871, though the railway never extended to its intended target of Lake Nipissing (North Bay).
We all had a particular interest in this railway because my dad's grandparents settled in Uxbridge after emigrating from Britain. In fact, my dad used to have numerous relatives in Uxbridge. I'll mention two of these relatives later on in this entry.
Uxbridge Station used to be little more than a large shed. In 1904, the Grand Trunk
Railway constructed the current station building with its distinctive "witch's hat" roof.
Our coach was one of two 1955 Budd coaches that were
converted from Rail Diesel Cars to coaches in 2008.
B and E were also documenting our train journey.
I didn't end up taking any pictures during the actual journey
because the windows were pretty scratched and there was a lot of
trees and undergrowth. However, there was a great little museum
inside Uxbridge Station, so I took a number of photos in there.
After our train journey and lunch at Col. McGrady's Pub, we decided to
check out some of the sights on Brock Street, including the mural below:
The house where my Great-Uncle Jack used to live.
While we were in this fabulous book shop, I found a book called Tales From the Uxbridge Valley. I showed it to my dad, who quickly discovered references to his Uncle Jack and Uncle Jack's rather illustrious son, Harry:
In the early 1950s, the Kinsmen [Club] built a new horse barn, and cut hemlock trees in the park for lumber for a new grandstand for horse races. The old one was sold to Jack _____ for $95.
Harry _____ had started with the Times-Journal as a linotype operator in 1949, and Bill Keyzers became an employee about 1955. In 1960, Peter Hvidsten separated the printing and publishing parts of the business and Bill and Harry started the Uxbridge Printing Company. In the early 1960s, they began buying other small-town newspapers, and eventually formed the Uxbridge Group. They bought the Times-Journal from Peter Hvidsten in 1974 and had seven papers in 1982.
On the way home from Uxbridge, we stopped at the Thomas Foster Memorial, which, not surprisingly, was commissioned by Thomas Foster (Honest Tom), a mayor of Toronto from 1925 to 1927. Besides the obvious beauty of the temple and its surroundings, it has a very interesting literary connection that my brother pointed out to us. I have to confess that I didn't believe him at first and had to do a bit of research online to confirm it. I don't have a photo of it (and that may not be a bad thing), but we came across the grave of Hugh Macdonald, the stillborn son of L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. I have to admire B for being astute enough to realize that "L.M. Macdonald" might be L.M. Montgomery as he remembered that she was married to Rev. Ewan Macdonald. He obviously paid attention when he visited Prince Edward Island!
Crossposted at http://rusty-armour.dreamwidth.org/15361