McAdam train station ready for Christmas tours
National Historic Site gets a holiday makeover to kick off the Christmas season
The once-busy train station in the village of McAdam is bustling again, thanks to the Christmas season.
The National Historic Site, built in 1900, used to serve thousands of passengers a week at the height of train travel.
But the iconic station, with its hotel, classic lunch counter and formal dining room, was closed two decades ago.
I like to show it off.- Gail Swan, train station volunteer
For the past seven holiday seasons, the group has hosted Christmas at the Station, a tour of the delightfully-decorated rooms, with a few treats along the way.
Elsie Carroll, a volunteer with the station committee, grew up in McAdam, and even worked at the lunch counter.
She came up with the idea. "And it's just viral since then," she laughed. "It's just gone crazy."
The McAdam station hasn't seen business like this since the days when Montreal society people would disembark here, on their way to summer at the nearby resort town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.
"The first year, it was amazing," said another core volunteer, Gail Swan. "We had 250 people come to see this building decorated for Christmas.
Different volunteers or groups are each assigned a room on the main floor of the station, and spend hours perfecting the decorations.
During the tour, which costs $12.00, warm cider and homemade treats are served. The funds go to the restoration and maintenance of the station, which has an annual heating bill of $30,000 alone.
It's a year-round, full-time commitment for the volunteers, but for them, the train station means home.
Christmas at the Station tours begin Thursday, Nov. 19 and runs until Sunday, Nov. 22, with tours from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
More details can be found at the train station's website.