I’ve mentioned before what a marvellous repository of historic photos the Facebook page Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region is. (Even if I am sometimes taken aback by the notion that photos taken in my lifetime are “historic.”) And now I’m going to say it again. Because thanks to that Facebook page, not once but twice recently I have seen photos of the no-longer-extant train station in the village of Madoc. (One of the places that is “town” when we here in Queensborough go to town.)
I am almost 100-per-cent certain that when I was growing up here at the Manse in the 1960s and early ’70s there were no trains running to and from Madoc. I don’t know when the train line (presumably running between Belleville to the south and Bancroft to the north? Though please correct me if I’m wrong) was closed; perhaps it wasn’t all that long before my childhood here. But when I read in the remarkable biography/autobiography Your Loving Anna (a book I wrote about here, which is on the subject of a 19th-century family “roughing it” – as Susanna Moodie would say – in the northern reaches of Hastings County) about Anna Leveridge and her children arriving from England, via the Atlantic Ocean and Montreal, by train in 1880-odd in Madoc, I found myself wondering: “Where the heck was the train station?” I just couldn’t at all place where it had been, or might have been. And I certainly couldn’t picture it; I assumed it had been long gone by the time I arrived on this planet.
Then a little while ago the photo atop this post appeared on Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region. It’s a wonderful shot of the “G.T.R. (that would be Grand Trunk Railway) Station Madoc,” and the information posted with it added, “c. 1905.” Don’t you just love the greatcoats and the hats and the horses and the all-round turn-of-the-(last)-century feel of that photo?
But: you can’t tell from it where the station actually is – or was – in Madoc, which I found frustrating.
Then a little while later this photo was posted on the same site, thanks to a chap named Dan Ryan. It’s the same train station, only many years later – 1974, to be exact:
Nineteen seventy-four? Gracious, I lived in these parts in 1974! I thought I knew Madoc – the town that was where my family shopped for dry goods and groceries and whatnot, and where I went to high school, and that was … well, was town – like the back of my hand! So why did I not know about this old train station?
I gather the building itself is long gone, and maybe someone could tell me when its demolition (which is just too bad) happened. But what I’d really like to know is: where was this interesting historic building? Can someone familiar with Madoc and its history tell me, very specifically so that I can picture the site in my mind’s eye, or better yet go seek it out and see what’s there now?
Because, you know, inquiring minds need to know.