Well, there has been an interesting turn of events. The neighbouring Co-op has bought the property because of a planned expansion (which is 1-2 years off) and wants to rip the building down because of taxes, so our local town improvement group was to buy the building and plunk it somewhere else in town. I know it will cost a lot, but I have plans for that and some 15-20 people now backing this project. So I'll trip to get my hands on the building before they rip it down. They have already started taking all the siding off (don't worry it wasn't original). Now what to do with it once it is saved... I was thinking railroad museum or a museum of local history, then you can put a nice garden around it, or making a small meeting hall for the local clubs. My dad was thinking of making it a restaurant or something like that but I would rather see it restored.
I am not familiar with Canadian tax codes, so I will base my comments on the U.S. code. The first thing you need to do it get out into the public 'arena' and get some support. At first this will be a mixture of the curious and those with strong backs. That is fine...you will need lots of help in the project (at this point in the discussion you don't own the station).
So you have amassed a hardy band of like-thinking, committed followers...great! Now you need to form a 501c3 (not for profit organization)...or whatever is similar in Canada. DO NOT purchase that station property on your own!! The liability is too high for an individual to handle (suppose someone falls, and injures themselves, on 'your' property?). A 501c3 designation will bring with it tax relief and better access to grants.
Secondly find someone who is willing to 'scour the universe' to find appropriate grants (this is a lot harder than it sounds). Once a number of grants are found, apply for them. Successful grant writing is a science unto itself...you will need the expertise of individuals conversant in this field.
You have embarked on a very long, and difficult journey. I applaud you for your interest (once that station is destroyed it is gone forever). Check out the Hopewell Junction Depot Restoration on the Internet to see what can be done with the right group of dedicated people.
I wish you all the best,
____________________ "Keeping my hand on the throttle, and my eyes on the rail."
Oh alas, the dreaded day has come. The station was torn down on September 12 most unceremoniously. Here's the bit from the local newspaper. I had to cut out some names, because I don't know if they'd want their names up here. Sorry it is late.
Hi there...I am surprised to see that this station is still open! I was told by my relatives that my Great Grandfather was the station master in Thamesville. but I see that it was built in early 1900's and he died in 1894. So I am curious to know what there was there before the current station and what he was station master of?? His name was Donald MacDonald (Married to Catherine McLarty) and they were Scottish and spoke Gaelic. I am researching my family history and would love to know more about his time here . Where did you see pics of the early station by the way? I would love to see a pic or two of him if they exist.
If you could email me back I would really appreaciate it. Perhaps I am your man to help you preserve this station. It would make a nice story don't you think?
Donald "Duff" MacDonald.
(PS I work a lot at the Drayton Theatres as a performer, perhaps you know me)