A long overdue update

After a lengthy absence, we are now back to providing an update to everyone as to what is happening with our committee and our project. Our committee usually meets once a month and discusses where we are with fundraising & restoration plans, articles donated to us, stories involving the station and railroaders in general and much more. In the last 3 years we have worked on raising the awareness of the heritage aspect of our building and the railroad within our community and area. Our committee members have been involved in many smaller projects on our way to the largest project of all. Many railroad enthusiasts have sent us stories, articles or pieces of memorabilia for us to house in our museum in the train station. Once we get our blog up to date on all we have completed thus far, it truly shows what a small group of dedicated people can do.
Having said that, Rivers is having its 100th Anniversary this year and there are many events planned for celebrating between July 2 -7th, 2013. It will be a time for all to renew old friendships and regale of stories of what used to happen when they visited, lived or worked here.
This heritage of stories and people and events is something that the Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee Inc. has been working on for the last three years as it has such a connection to the railroad. We have been working on a project with the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch to capture our history through the buildings in our community, the original people who brought this community to life and the events that have followed along the way. We are currently working on a heritage website for the town and the surrounding RM which will be a living document that people will continue to submit stories, photos and all things heritage for our area. We are thankful to Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism for providing the funding for us to complete these most important projects.
The committee continues to add to the railroad theme throughout the community by providing unique railroad benches, a unique and very heavy train rail arbour and a 27 piece massive puzzle that depicts the heritage of the area with the railroad. The puzzle pieces are about 3-4 feet in length and cover the train station windows while we work on the station itself. The goal of the committee is to remove the puzzle pieces off the windows and back into a very large mural in 2017 when the train station turns 100. We were assisted with this project by The Whitehead Foundation of Western Manitoba and it is the only puzzle piece art that we know of in Manitoba and from our research, the rest of Canada.
We have been working toward funding for our restoration of the station and while we have worked hard at retaining grants, we have not yet received the large ones that will begin the restoration by re-doing the roof. The building is a Federally designated heritage building and we have to restore the outside as it was, which means cedar shingles for the roof to begin the process.
VIA Rail has been an amazing and very supportive partner along the journey and we look forward to the day where they will house their waiting room inside the station as it used to be. For now we are proud of the work we have completed in keeping the Rivers Train Stationette a place of pride until the Rivers Train Station is restored.

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