A friend in Germany just sent me a couple of pages from a guide to shippers and receivers of carload freight, describing the railway’s principal customers in the two towns on my layout.
The guide was issued by the Grand Trunk Railway System in August 1922. It covers Canadian National, Grand Trunk, Central Vermont and affiliated companies, with stations listed in alphabetical order.
At St. Williams, the following railway customers and commodities are identified:
* Jewell, WH – Livestock, Grain
* McCall & Co – Lumber, Furniture
* Norfolk Specialty Farms – Poultry, Cattle, Feed
* Rock, TD – Mill Feed
* St. Williams Co-operative Growers – Fruit, Vegetables
At Port Rowan, the following railway customers and commodities are identified:
* Backhouse, JC – Grain, Flour, Lumber, Ties
* Buck, JL & Son – Coal, Lime, Cement, Shingles, Flour, Feed, Brick
* Buck & Lalor – Dried Apples
* Dease, JA – Lumber, Ties
* Leighfield & Abbott – Livestock
* MacDonald, JA – Lumber, Ties
* Rockefeller, D – Livestock
The guide does not distinguish between “shippers” and “receivers” – nor does it list sources of Less-Than-Carload (LCL) or occasional carload traffic. It does note that all of the customers used public sidings or team tracks for their traffic – there are no private sidings in either community.
While this guide is from 30 years before the era in which my layout is set, it’s an invaluable insight into the freight that arrived at and left from these two communities on a regular basis. I’m very grateful for the information – what a resource!