Greenville Junction Depot to hold annual celebration
GREENVILLE JUNCTION — The eighth annual Depot Celebration and Railroad Workers Reunion takes place at the Greenville Junction Depot on Saturday, Aug. 18, so mark your calendars! Everyone is invited to take a tour of the old station and learn about railroad history in this area from those who knew, those who worked for the railroad or had family involved.
The railroad was key to the development of the Moosehead Lake region and the Junction Depot was built in 1889 to ferry passengers and goods to the many lodges and hotels on the shores of the lake.
The familiar “Witch’s Hat” wasn’t added until sometime between 1901 and 1910. It sets the depot apart. “This building has very unusual architecture — it’s Victorian, and it’s just beautiful,” remarked Jane Hall, who, as president of the Greenville Junction Depot Friends, has been involved with the repair of the depot from the beginning. Much of it, built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad is still in its original condition, Hall said.
Recently there have been many important changes – including beautiful new flooring to the main part of the depot, restoration of the seating in the private women’s waiting area, and necessary restoration to the underpinning and sills. “We are not so much restoring the building as rehabilitating it so it will eventually become a community resource,” Hall added. Restoration of the famous “hat” is part of the recent roof campaign being kicked off by the Greenville Junction Depot Friends.
Three years ago this same group signed a long-term lease for the building and immediate surrounding property with the Central Maine and Quebec Railway. According to their website (www.greenvilledepot.org), “This truly represents a new era for the depot. Not only does this make it so we no longer need to look for a piece of property to buy, it greatly reduces the overall cost and complexity of the project. We are thrilled to announce that the future is looking very bright for our little depot!”
There are so many memories attached to this historic old building – one Greenville resident recalled Canadian soldiers tossing out coins to hopeful children on their return trip through the Junction. Another remembered cows wandering on the track one day. The engineer unfortunately hit two of them, but he stopped the train, walked up to the upset farmer and reimbursed him on the spot for his loss.
The Depot Celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m. Vendors related to railroad memorabilia and hobby railroading will be on hand as well as artist Milt Christianson who has done so much to promote the Depot through his terrific artwork. The Harold J Crosby Community Band of Dexter will perform lively tunes with an “old time railroad” feel – guaranteed to get your toes tapping!
There’s a good possibility that retired CPR Section Foreman Bob Roberts, who lives in Monson and collects railroad memorabilia, will participate in the railroad workers reunion and bring his Velocipede, a popular hand car used by rail crews for many years. He will give demonstrations and rides on the unusual vehicle if he is able to attend.
There’s also a silent auction with donations generously provided by local businesses and best of all, there’s food! The ever-popular Mooseburger is back by donation and hot dogs, baked goods and refreshments round out the yummy offerings.
On Aug. 3, the depot hosted a contingent of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) as part of their Iron Adventure of New England Rally 2018. Over 100 biking enthusiasts showed up and were treated to a catered meal and a tour of the building. It was great to see all those beautiful Harleys lined up outside the depot!
For more information about “Celebrate the Depot”, to become a contributing “Depot Friend” or learn about the depot itself, call (207) 691-0731, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto http://www.greenvilledepot.org. The Greenville Junction Depot Friends is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
Cheri Goodspeed, treasurer and secretary of the organization said last year’s celebration was a big hit. “We raised more than $5,000 and sold about 200 mooseburgers!” she exclaimed, “I’m guessing over 400 people showed up for the event.”
Come celebrate the little depot with a big fan base on Aug. 18 – you’ll be so glad you did!