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TRHA Celebrates Canada Day at Don Station

On Sunday, July 1, TRHA President Orin Krivel and Derek Boles, TRHA Historian and Director, hosted an open house at the Don Station located at Todmorden Mills. In addition to uncovering the windows and opening the doors of the station, they mounted a display of over 50 photographs showing the evolution of railways in the Don Valley from the 1890s to the present time.

We don't tend to get huge numbers of visitors to the Don Station and most of them are families rather than rail enthusiasts. But, on July 1st, we had two really special visitors, Mr. & Mrs. John Mellow. A very young John was the operator at the Don Station in the mid-1960s before it closed and was moved to Todmorden.

In a rather serendipitous coincidence, the CP Tracks magazine recently published Derek's article "The Canadian Pacific Railway in the Don Valley." Derek had found at the station last year a faded colour photograph of an operator at Don taken in the mid-1960s. There was no information about the photo (shown above) nor who was in it and you could only see the back of the operator's head. Once the article was published, Derek learned on the CP SIG Association's Yahoo discussion group from Keith Hopkin that the photo was taken by the late Dave More in August 1965 and that the operator in the picture was John Mellow.

After we spent over an hour chatting about the station, We decided to take another photo (also shown above) of John sitting in the same location as the 1965 photo taken 42 years earlier. We believe that it may even be the same chair!

As many of you may know, there are plans to move the Don Station from Todmorden to Roundhouse Park adjacent to the John Street Roundhouse. John indicated that he is very interested in acting as a consultant in restoring the station to its operating appearance as well as assisting the TRHA in interpreting the station to the public. John also retrieved several artifacts from the station just before it closed and he indicated a willingness to restore these to the station once the building is moved and stabilized.

All in all, this was a very joyful Canada Day for at least two members of the TRHA board.
Click on the pictures above for a closer look!

by Derek Boles, TRHA

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