Shippers and Receivers

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!

6 thoughts on “Shippers and Receivers

    • That’s a thought Pierre. I see no evidence of stock pens at either location – not in the 1950s, anyway. But from my time as a modeller of the Maine two-footers I recall several stations that had portable stock ramps. This raises the question whether any such ramps were available for farmers in St. Williams or Port Rowan? If not, how did they handle cattle? Back up the stake truck and drop a ramp across to the stock car?
      Questions, questions…

  1. What a great resource! Pierre is right, a stock pen would have been available at some time in the line’s past at both locations. Haliburton’s stockpen was active till late in the 40’s but had been decommissioned by the 50’s, the ramp on the other hand, with no pen, was still in place and active till late in the 50’s given the dairy farms/dairy around Haliburton till that time.

    I wonder if the Canadian Northern or Canadian National published something similar?

    • Hi Daniel:
      Pierre and you both make good arguments for the presence of a stock pen. But I have not seen one in any photos, and have no other record of one existing – at least, not in the 1950s time frame I’m modelling. Any such movements by rail may have involved loading directly to/from the truck via a portable ramp. The farmer may have had to bring the ramp himself if the traffic was infrequent.

  2. Poultry as well. Aurora had a dedicated reefer serving a number of poultry farms in the King Township area that butchered the animals on site for Dominion Foods and were then sent to Montreal I believe. This is in the days before the 401 and the 400. Not sure how this traffic was handled in other areas.

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