|You could say trains and cabooses have flowed through the blood of Dave and Ann Huskinson for years. Ann had the CPR line from Lindsay cut through the family farm outside of Lindsay, while Dave’s grandfather constructed railway track bed and his dad was a fireman shovelling coal on steam engines for CNR during the fifties and early sixties.|
In fact the first person killed by a train was Sir William Huskinson when in 1830 he was walking from out behind a parked train unaware there was Stephenson’s Rocket coming down the second track.
Fast forward to today and the launch of Clearview Station Bed and Breakfast just north of Creemore. Dave and Ann enjoyed the odd weekend getaway at Railway Station and other caboose bed and breakfasts in southern and western Ontario and even New Brunswick. Then they thought, why not have our own and share some history of what made Canada a Country with our own caboose and guests.
Dave had already started collecting railroadiana from Ebay and other local antique stores. So he signed up on CN and CP’s websites for surplus equipment sales. They also drove over many miles of the province looking at a few wooden framed cabooses in bad shape. After two years of disappointment, he was afraid it was not going to happen.
However, one weekend in October 2006, he and Ann were driving up to North Bay to visit their daughter Katie who had started to attend Nipissing University. While going down Lakeshore Drive, they drove over the rail yards of Ontario Northland Railway (ONR). He mentioned to Ann about wondering if they had any cabooses for sale. Upon his return on Monday, he emailed the railway, they replied and said they would in the spring of 2007.
Santa arrived early for Dave in 2006 because on December 22nd, Dave received an email from Ontario Northland on the tender of seven cabooses for auction. After he and Ann inspected the gems in early January, a bid was put in for #107 which was not successful but upon a second bid invitation was successful in winning Caboose #111.
The caboose arrived in Clearview on Friday July 13th 2007 and yes there were problems as Friday the 13th is know for. They have also redecorated a large second bed room in their country room known as the Station masters room for guests as well. Both the caboose and 2nd bedroom have ensuite and private bathrooms.
The caboose (or van as the real railroaders call them) has been immaculately restored. The interior has been tastefully finished with hardwood flooring, oak wainscoting and granite widow sills. Two of the most striking features are the slightly concave hardwood ceiling in the main caboose sleeping area and the cupola. The cupola also provides two elevated seats where one can read with your morning coffee while enjoying the view for miles and miles.
The breakfast menu provides a hearty breakfast with such names as the “Fireman’s Special”, the “Station Feature” and for lighter fare the ONR Lite. All breakfasts are served with railway china, cutlery, tablecloths and napkins bringing us back in time when passengers were valued by the Railways of the time. You will find the same service provided by Clearview Station Bed and Breakfast today locally.
For more info, call Clearview Station at 705-466-2000