HUNTSVILLE – Eleven black and white photos of the Huntsville train station’s past now adorn its walls.
The Huntsville Train Station Society has hung a new heritage photo display in the station’s waiting room. One of the photos, for example, is of a steam train at the dock on Hunter’s Bay where passengers and freight alike were transferred to waiting steamships for travel by water to other destinations.
The framed photos are the second of three new projects at the station.
The train station society is a not-for-profit charitable organization created in 2003 to assist the Town of Huntsville with the restoration and maintenance of the historically significant town-owned railway station, improve community awareness of the station and promote heritage appreciation within the community.
The society’s involvement with station repairs and improvements, as well as outreach to the community on heritage matters, help it achieve its mandate.
The heritage photo display is one such improvement.
The society’s funding comes mainly from membership with occasional fundraising events. And sometimes funding opportunities knock on the train station’s door – the heritage photo display was funded through a Business for the Arts program called artsVest.
Business for the Arts is a national association of business leaders who supports the arts. The artsVest program is a matching incentive and sponsorship training program that encourages businesses to team up with the arts and culture sector to sponsor cultural initiatives.
The train station society applied for the program and was awarded up to $2,500 if it found business partners to provide material donations for its cultural projects.
Projects included: signage on Main Street for the Huntsville Train Station and tenants, which was completed in June; the heritage photo display depicting the station and its environs, completed in July; and an upcoming kitchenette in the baggage room for fundraising events where food is catered.
Society members have been saving membership fees and donations to help fund these projects.
Now with the additional support of its business sponsors and artsVest, the society has completed its second project.
The heritage photos were selected, restored and enhanced by Jon Snelson, a local photographer, train station society member and model railway enthusiast.
Enlargement and printing of the photos was done by sponsor Cavalcade Color Lab through Don Spring and Kelly Catton. North Art Supplies was the sponsor who added the finishing touch, creating exquisite frames for the heritage photos, done by Janine Marson and Ron Murdoch.
Dave James, a skilled woodworker and train station society member ably managed the hanging of the frames on the waiting room walls.
And a tube of lipstick marked the exact spot on the wall for the hanging mechanisms to be mounted, courtesy of Teri Souter, manager of arts, culture and heritage for the Town of Huntsville.
The station is open every day except Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Huntsville residents and visitors are welcome to visit the station and enjoy the displays.
For information on the station or membership in the train station society, please call 705-789-8903.
And there are passenger trains at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day except Saturday. Take the Northlander this summer!
–Submitted by Lucille Frith, president of the Huntsville Train Station Society