Friends of Freeman Station raises close to one third of its objective in a month: additional donors waiting in the wings.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 9, 2014


The objective was $300,000 – more than $80,000 of that was raised in less than a month.

Don’t ever say that this community is not behind the Friends of Freeman Station (FoFS) and their objective to rehabilitate and refurbish the Burlington Junction train station originally built in 1906.  Despite the full support of city council – the FoFS have persevered.  Councillors Marianne Meed Ward and Blair Lancaster deserve all the council level credit for their work.

Brian Mello and artist David Harrington hold a painting of the Freeman Station in front of the site where the refurbishment of the build will be done when the foundation is in place and the weather is a little warmer.

It has been a struggle but when Mark Gillies was made chair of the membership and fundraising committee things began to happen.

The FoFS created a list of sponsorship opportunities and within a month most of the indoor locations were sponsored.


John Mello on the right and David Harrington hold a painting Harrington did of the Freeman Station.

Brian Aasgaard, president of FoFS advised us that it will not be very long before we see work crews on the site starting the work.

Right now they are waiting for a permit to begin putting in the foundation.  The FoFS station had all their drawings but – this is almost funny, the engineer who provided the drawings made a mistake and put in the year of 2013 instead of 2014 and the city rejected the application – so back they had to go.  Aasgaard said he will have the permit by the end of the week and the basement work can begin.  As soon as that is done – work crews move in – and we should have some warmer weather as well.

There are a number of organizations that are waiting in the wings to announce their sponsorship which puts “DONE” to the task a group of citizens took on to save a piece of local history.

City council struggled for years to find a place to place the station and then have it refurbished – at one point they even had federal money to pay for the move and the refurbishment but they couldn’t agree on a home for the structure.  Meanwhile it sat beside the fire station headquarters and began to slowly rot.

Those days will become part of the lore and history of the station – not one of the city’s best moments – but it is the citizens of a city that make a community what it is.  City councils just get elected, make their mistakes and move on.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.