Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Review: Faces and Places Along the Railway

Faces and Places Along the Railway
I recently found Elizabeth A. Willmot's book Faces and Places along the Railway at a used book store here in Winnipeg. You can consider it a sequel to her better-known book, Meet Me at the Station, and continues the same theme of an affectionate look back at railways in Ontario during the steam age.

The book is copyright 1979, so it is a little out of date, but since she was writing about the early days of railways it doesn't matter a lot.

A little over half of the book is devoted to photos and stories about 17 railway towns or topics, from Amherstburg through Kingston and Owen Sound and featuring locations like the Hog Bay Trestle and the Brockville railway tunnel. Each town or topic gets at least one photo and a few pages of history and stories about the railways that went through the town and the people who worked on them.

The latter portion of the book is more photo-heavy, with photos of "Faces From the Steam Era" with short captions, and 12 railway stations in the "Meet Me at the Next Station" section with full page photos of each station and a one or two sentence caption for each.

I freely admit that I don't know much about railways in Ontario, so this book was a great introduction to towns I have never been to. It also helped draw together the little bits and pieces I have learned about Ontario's railway history into a more coherent story. I have been to Amherstburg, Ingersoll and Woodstock, but I still enjoyed seeing the photos of those stations from the 1970s.

All photographs are in black and white.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Canadian railway history, and especially to those interested in Ontario's railway history in particular. It's an easy read.

Find Faces and Places along the Railway on Amazon.ca, or on Amazon.com.
Disclosure: If you buy the book using the Amazon links provided, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

See all my book reviews


Michael said...

I remember Meet me at the Station. As a history guy myself, I have been meaning to look for that book for a while. Now I know I will look for this one as well. It helps when you've been all over Ontario.

Eric said...

It's on the shelf and will stay there!