The grain elevator and the railway are gone, but the railway station, which is now a museum and national historic site, still stands in this farming community 120 years after it was built.
With the help of a $9,000 grant from the federal government and the ongoing efforts of the Miami Railway Station Museum Association, it should stand for years to come, says association co-chair Gordon Docking.
The federal funds come through Parks Canada’s Historic Sites of Canada cost-sharing program. The Miami Railway Station Museum Association will match the federal funding. The combined funds of $18,000 will be used to restore the station’s windows, rather than replace them, Docking said.
There are 949 national historic sites in Canada, but few in Manitoba and fewer still in the south-central region. “I think we need to promote our designation a bit more,” Docking said.
Lower Fort Garry and The Forks are among Manitoba’s national historic sites.
The Miami Railway Station was designated a national historic site in 1976. Built in 1889 by the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Co., the station stands on its original site. The line and station eventually became part of the Canadian National Railway (CN). It was a busy working station until the 1970s, according to a government release.
“It’s an excellent portrayal of the life and times of railway station masters and their families,” the release says.
“The present station is a rare surviving example of a Canadian northern railway station. The Miami station is a combination depot, which combined living accommodations for the station agent along with passenger and freight rooms. It reflects the period of prosperity enjoyed by Miami during the railway boom of the early 20th century.”
CN sold the rail branch line that ran from Morris to Elgin to the Tulare Valley Railroad Co., a U. S.-based short line and railway salvage company in 1999. Tulare formed the Southern Manitoba Railway Co., but claimed it didn’t have enough traffic to be viable and the line was ripped up for salvage in 2007.
Miami’s Agricore United elevator was razed in 2003.