Prince Edward Island doesn’t have a large or central Provincial Museum but it does have several small Provincial Museum sites that are open mostly in the summer. One of our favorite summer activities is to take a drive and visit some of these fascinating and fun centres.
On a cold, wet, and windy June afternoon we drove to Eastern Kings County in Prince Edward Island to visit the Elmira Railway Museum. It is a small museum, and it’s a great outing for the family.
When we got there we wandered around the gift shop, and then we took a ride on a miniature train that ran through the woods. For some reason — the cold wet weather maybe, or the children who were trying to jump the tracks — I forgot to take a picture of the ride.
I doubt that the original platform was as wide and long as it is now, but I imagine it was a busy space with passengers coming and going, and of course locals hanging around exchanging gossip. Back when passenger trains ran on Prince Edward Island Elmira was the Island’s most Easterly train station.
I have several ancestors who worked on the rails in Prince Edward Island. My Grandfather was a station master at Morell, and I like to imagine that his work place was similar to this. My Mother’s Grandfather, David Pound was a train engineer, and he was killed in a train wreck in 1900.
There are no longer any trains on Prince Edward island, and I miss the sound and sight of trains as they roll down the tracks. I remember being a child drifting off to sleep at night and the sound of the last train’s whistle sounding as it crossed Belvedere Avenue.
This is the station my Father grew up in when his Father was the station master in Morell, Prince Edward Island. The station was torn down sometime in the 1970s but I can still remember it.
The displays at Elmira are an interesting and varied selection of artifacts from the days of steam and diesel trains.
There is one building with a large model train diorama shaped like Prince Edward Island, and I have to admit I love this display and couldn’t wait to see it. The kid in me wants to put on an engineer’s cap and spend the afternoon playing with the trains. The artist in me thinks it’s some kind of crazy conceptual art exhibit and that an unreadable artists statement would not be out of place.
If I had a basement rather than a damp cellar I would probably have something like this, and I guess that confessing this makes me some kind of nerd, but then again, everyone should have something to be a total nerd about. Shouldn’t they?
We had a great time visiting the museum. It is a simple and charming museum with nothing flashy about it, and though I wish it had a real train on display it is well worth a visit.