The coming of the Railroad
On October 8, 1897 railway service to Winnipegosis was first made available, when the railway line was opened from Sifton. On December 20, 1898, this line became part of the Canadian Northern Railway, which in 1918 amalgamated into the great Canadian National Railway System.
Gruber was a small settlement about a mile and a half south of Winnipegosis and was named after Rabbi Gruber who had immigrated from Europe and intended to start a colony there and build a synagogue.
So this picture would have been taken in late September or early October. What excitement must have been felt by all who lived in and around Winnipegosis. The railway station would have been completed as well as both the Lakeview Hotel and the Hotel Winnipegosis.
Three new large wooden structures would have given our small village a feeling of permanency and, add to that, a now much easier means of transportation- a railway! A link to all of Canada! The possibilities must have felt endless.
The hard physical labour, the gruelling long hours, the fight with mosquitoes and weather makes these achievements so remarkable. Our ancestors were incredible people, fueled by vision and determination!
In 1889, the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company was formed and a charter received to develop the resources of Lake Winnipegosis. This charter was later sold to William MacKenzie and Donald Mann, who on January 29th, 1896, took possession of the Lake Manitoba and Canal Company. Railway service to Winnipegosis was first made available October 8, 1897, when the railway line was opened from Sifton. On December 20, 1898, this line became part of the Canadian Northern Railway, which in 1918, amalgamated into the Canadian National Railway System.
The station building, or depot, was erected in the latter part of 1897 and was listed by the Canadian Northern Railway as a “Type A” structure, containing all services, as well as accommodation for the agent and his family.
“Type A” was the earliest Canadian Northern standard design. Of more than 900 depots built for the Canadian Northern and Canadian National, only nine were “Type A’s” and all were in Manitoba.
This style of depot had a hip gable roof over the first storey and another over the second storey, giving the roof a rounded appearance. The building had a shingled awning supported by brackets which served to protect freight, and passengers waiting for the train. In the agent’s office was a large bay window facing the platform. Above were two windows in the second storey.
Inside, the ground floor was divided into a waiting room, an office, and a living room. The kitchen and dining room were in an addition attached to the rear of the building. A second addition contained the freight room. There were three bedrooms.
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