Port Rowan, St. Williams and elsewhere, Oct 2016

Port Rowan Yard - Prototype - 2016
(Outstanding in their field: Jack, Roy and Mocean take in the site of the former yard in Port Rowan – now a park)

Yesterday, my wife and I were in the mood to get out of the city, so we packed up the dogs and headed to the Port Rowan area to see trees and water, and take in fresh air. It was a fine autumn day for a drive!

While at Port Rowan, I took a few photos to show how the yard area has changed over the decades. There’s not much left that I can recognize from the photos of the yard taken in the 1950s. I realized, however, that I’d never taken a picture of the “garage with loft” that sat across the tracks (and the field) from the station. So here it is:

Port Rowan - Garage with Loft

In this next photos, I’m looking east – up the mainline towards St. Williams. The corn is growing where the apple orchards used to frame the railway’s entrance to the yard. The red sumach bushes behind the dogs are growing on the old right of way.

Port Rowan - Orchards - Prototype 2016

On my layout, I’ve moved the Lynn Valley from the Port Dover leg of the Simcoe Sub to just outside Port Rowan. As I’ve explained previously on this blog, I did this for several reasons: I wanted to disguise the curvy bits of layout between Port Rowan and St. Williams, and I wanted the opportunity to model a couple of river crossings and the water tank from that portion of the subdivision.

While shooting pictures yesterday, I noticed that the trees in the distance, to the right of the break between the orchards, make this scene look a bit like the one I’ve modelled. My Lynn Valley, with its tall trees, is also to the right of the RoW when viewed from this vantage point:

Port Rowan - Orchards - Proto 2016

Port Rowan - Model - Same POV

Speaking of trees, the next photo shows the row of trees behind the former location of the raised coal delivery track. I’ll have a row like this running along the backdrop in Port Rowan, and have already started twisting the armatures for them:

Port Rowan Team Track - Proto - 2016

Port Rowan - CNR 80 and 4204

On the way down, we stopped at Caledonia – where I took some additional photos of the station to fill in my blog posting from last week:

Caledonia station
(Click on the image to revisit that post, now enhanced with more images)

We also drove through St. Williams. There’s nothing left of the railway in this community, although I did find the approximate location of the station. Here’s a photo from Google Streetview: I believe the RoW is now the parallel to the trees:

St Williams - ROW looking east - 2016

Curiously, the property on the other side of that row of trees has a crossbuck on the front lawn: You can just make it out against the peaked wall of the white building:

St Williams - Crossing - 2016

Finally, after visiting Port Rowan, we took the Waterfront Trail east to Port Dover. We ran the dogs on the park just north of the building in which Fast Tracks is located:

Port Dover - Fast Tracks - 2016

Fast Tracks is on the second floor of the grey building. The green garage in the distance at right is the company’s previous location.

All in all, a fine day out!

5 thoughts on “Port Rowan, St. Williams and elsewhere, Oct 2016

  1. Boy! Has Roy ever gotten big since the last photo I’ve seen! They all look like they’re having fun. Nice photos and article about the area. thanks for posting.
    Cheers, Gord

  2. Hi there, I came across your post regarding the railroad running through St. Williams and wanted to clarify where the tracks ran. I grew up in St. Williams and still live there and my mother owns the house in the picture with the crossbuck. My dad made that crossbuck because their house sits on the railroad property. In fact the train tracks use to run on an angle about where that crossbuck is located. It went on an angle through the village of Forestville on its’ way to Simcoe. A lot of my family were raised in St. Williams and my mother especially could tell you a lot of stories about the railroad. She use to ride it back and forth to Port Rowan and her brother, Jim (Elon) Hoover use to work for the railroad.

    • Hi Rosie:
      Thanks for the clarification! Good to know. So the station would’ve been where – on the north (left) side of the crossbuck?

  3. Hi Trevor,
    Sorry I just clarified with my Mother and the train tracks ran between the house and the lane in your picture (north-side of trees). She believes the house is sitting where the station use to be because when they dug the basement they found the old well and it is located under their kitchen. Let me know if you ever want to check out the property.

    • Hi Rosie:
      Thanks for this. It helps a lot. I didn’t realize the station had a well but of course it makes sense. That was probably dug for the first station – the one with agent’s quarters on the second floor.

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